Kolkata erupts in violence as civic poll campaign nears end


Volence illustration By bappaditya paul

WITH JUST 24 HOURS TO GO before campaigning ends for the 18 April Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) polls, several parts of Kolkata erupted in violence on Wednesday with the ruling Trinamul Congress cadres accused of attacking rival political workers.

The day’s first violence was reported around noon from KMC’s ward number one at Cossipore where supports of the Trinamul candidate clashed with the supports of a rebel candidate who is contesting the elections as an independent.

Video footage of a CCTV camera installed at a local shop showed them lobbing crude grenades  and chasing each other brandishing pistols.  Kolkata Police had to struggle a lot to contain the warring factions in the busy commercial area; a police picket has been posted at the site to stop further violence.

Only a few hours after the Cossipore clash, around 9.30 in the evening three CPI-M workers were attacked at ward number 101 and 102 at Baghajatin in south Kolkata allegedly by Trinamul-backed miscreants.

The CPI-M workers were distributing voter’s slip door-to-door when the attack took place; while two of them were released on first-aid from the Baghajatin State General Hospital, the third one was admitted to the M R Bangur Hospital with severe injuries.

Peeved over the attack, CPI-M workers put up a road blockade at Baghajatin More from 10.15 pm demanding immediate arrests of the perpetrators of the crime. The blockade was withdrawn after two hours following police persuasion.

Roopa Ganguly
Roopa Ganguly

The incidents took place close on the heels of an attack on BJP leader and actress Roopa Ganguly during a poll meeting at Alipore on Tuesday evening. While the actress was badly heckled allegedly by Trinamul cadres, her car was damaged severely.

Taking cognisance of the incident, Bengal State Election Commission today sought a report from the Kolkata Police Commissioner and the district magistrate of South 24-Parganas.

The Commission has sought to know whether Roopa Ganguly’s meeting was being held with prior permission and if so, why the police failed to ensure law and order at the venue.

“We have also sought to know, what action has the police taken since then and if any of the perpetrators had been arrested,” state election commissioner Mr Sushanta Ranjan Upadhaya said on Wednesday evening.

The poll panel has shot a separate letter to the Kolkata Police Commissioner directing him to carryout an investigation against one Swapan Chakraborty alias Mota, a Trinamul Congress henchman who was allegedly reining in terror on Opposition party cadres at the ward number one of KMC.

SEC officials said that over the past few days they have received several complaints against Chakraborty from all the Opposition political parties.


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