1 dead, 5 injured in clash between BJP, TMC workers in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar


A Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker was shot dead in broad daylight and five others were injured on Tuesday after an alleged clash between TMC and BJP workers in Dinhata in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district. This is the latest in a series of incidents of violence that have led to the deaths of 11 people in the state ever since the nomination process for the three-tier panchayat polls began on June 9.

The incident took place in the Jari Dharla area of Gitaldaha in Dinhata, an area close to the international border, early on Tuesday morning. While the TMC alleged that miscreants backed by the BJP fired on their party workers, the BJP denied the charges.

“There was a report of firing between two local groups in the Jari Dharla area of Gitaldaha. According to initial reports, five people were shot, out of which one named Babu Haque died. This place is one of the innermost places of the district on the international border. We are investigating,” a senior police official said.

Sources said that the five injured had been admitted to Dinhata sub-district hospital.

“Our Trinamool workers were sleeping inside a house after campaigning when BJP-backed miscreants barged into the house early in the morning and attacked six of our workers. Shots were fired; one person was shot and stabbed with sharp weapons. He died on the spot. Five others who were allegedly shot were shifted to Cooch Behar Medical College in critical condition,” Anarul Haque, TMC town president of Gitaldaha 2 area, said.

TMC MLA from Dinhata, Udayan Guha, accused the BJP of causing the incident by “bringing criminals from outside”. “Some BJP leaders and ministers are trying to create unrest in the state by bringing miscreants from different states and neighbouring countries. Jari Dharla is an area where nothing can happen without the watch [knowledge] of BSF. Even then, such an attack took place. Such an incident happened at the border of Bangladesh. What was the BSF doing?” Guha asked.

BJP district president Sukumar Roy denied the allegations. “It is a border village where smuggling is prevalent. Our organisation is almost non-existent in that place. Now, some disgruntled Trinamool workers have joined the BJP but BJP has nothing to do with this incident. There were always grassroots clashes and infighting within TMC in that area,” Roy said.

The panchayat elections are scheduled to be held on July 8 and the results will be declared on July 11. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had campaigned in Cooch Behar’s Chandmari on Monday.


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