Crude bombs hurled, vehicles vandalised as violence continues ahead of panchayat polls in Bengal
Several vehicles were vandalised and a huge contingent of police personnel rushed to the spot and resorted to lathi-charge to bring the situation under control.
KOLKATA: Crude bombs continued exploding on roads in rural Bengal for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday over the issue of filing nominations for the upcoming panchayat elections. Bombs were hurled in front of the local office of the block development officer in Canning, South 24-Parganas, to allegedly scare candidates of opposition parties who are aspiring to contest in the rural polls slated to be held on July 8.
A similar incident took place in Bhangar in the same district on Tuesday forcing policemen to retreat. Five years ago, the panchayat elections in Bengal were marked by large-scale violence, with one-third of candidates unable to file their nominations and several court interventions, Bengal has got off to another rocky start.
Supporters of the Indian Secular Force (ISF), the party was formed ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections and its lone MLA Naushad Siddiqui was elected from Bhangar, and the ruling Trinamool Congress clashed in the minority-dominated pocket. Several vehicles were vandalised and a huge contingent of police personnel rushed to the spot and resorted to lathi-charge to bring the situation under control.
Siddiqui went to Nbanna, the state secretariat, to meet CM Mamata Banerjee but could not as she was busy. The ISF MLA lodged his complaint accusing the TMC of flexing muscles with the police. The BJP, principal opposition, arrived at the state election commission’s office on Wednesday, alleging TMC’s muscle flexing restricting their candidates from filing nominations. “The state poll panel is working at the behest of the ruling party. The panchayat polls is conducted to hoodwink people,” said BJP’s state president Sukanta Majumdar.