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TMC worker killed, several others injured

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KOLKATA, July 2 (PTI): A Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker was killed and several other members of the ruling party and opposition outfits were injured in clashes in panchayat poll-bound West Bengal, police said.

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A TMC worker, identified as 52-year-old Jiyarul Molla, was shot dead in Phulmalancha area in Basanti in South 24 Parganas district late on Saturday night while he was returning home, a police officer said.

The man was taken to a local hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead.

A local Indian Secular Front (ISF) leader claimed that Molla, who was a close associate of TMC leader Amarul Laskar, was a victim of infighting within the ruling party.

Molla’s daughter Manwara, who is a TMC candidate in Kathalberia gram panchayat, also alleged that her father had complained to the police about frequent threats from a rival faction which asked him to quit politics but the law enforcers did not take any action.

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“I am a first-time candidate. My candidature is not liked by another local faction in the party. I demand a high-level probe into the incident,” she told reporters.

Local TMC MLA Saokat Molla said the police should probe the matter and take prompt action against whoever is responsible.

With the fresh death, 10 people have been killed so far in West Bengal in poll-related violence since the filing of nominations for the rural elections began on June 9, according to police reports.

Meanwhile, at least 10 people were injured in clashes between CPI(M) and ISF supporters on one side and those of the TMC on the other in Paschim Medinipur district on Sunday, police said.

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The incident took place in Krishnapur area in Chandrakona in the morning after the TMC members tried to erect party flags, and faced resistance from opposition activists.

The 10 injured people, who belong to both camps, have been admitted to hospitals, where they are undergoing treatment, another police officer said, adding that their condition is stated to be stable.

A large contingent of police team has been deployed on the spot, he added.

The police did not mention the number of people detained or arrested after the clashes.

In another incident, Ibrahim Mollah, TMC candidate in Chaltaberia gram panchayat, was seriously injured when he was thrashed and stabbed allegedly by ISF activists while he was returning home in Bhangar area in South 24 Parganas on Sunday night after campaigning, police said.

TMC leader Saokat Molla alleged that ISF’s Bhangar MLA Naushad Siddique was behind the attack as he wanted to unleash a “reign of terror” in the area.

Siddique, however, denied the charge, while counter-alleging that the TMC was threatening and intimidating ISF workers in villages.

“Villagers are rising against the atrocities and ‘bomb culture’ of the TMC and that is not being liked by the gang patronised by Shaukat Mollah. The ISF believes in peaceful movement by people, not violence,” he added.

Around 5.67 crore people are eligible to cast their votes in the three-tier panchayat elections in the state on July 8 for nearly 74,000 seats in zilla parishads, panchayat samiti and gram panchayats.


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