Eightpersons, including a woman, were killed and around 18 injured after unidentified persons fired at villagers in Maoist-hit Lalgarh of West Bengal on Friday. While Trinamool Congress has alleged that the gunmen were armed CPI(M) activists the Left has pointed finger towards the Maoists.
On Friday morning, the villagers of Netai gheraoed the residence of local CPI(M) leader, Ranjit Dandapat, alleging that the house was used as a camp for armed party workers. After a short while, bullets were shot from inside the house, killing the villagers.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday blamed the Left party for the killings, saying it was utilising its “harmads” as a killing machine. “They (CPM) are claiming that we are doing politics with bodies. But they are doing the politics of killing and terror. Let them stop it, we will also not parade bodies,” Mamata, who took out a procession in Kolkata with the bodies of three party workers killed in Burdwan on Thursday, told a rally.
“We believe in democracy. We want people to give a fitting reply to CPI(M)-sponsored terror through ballots. We don’t want power at the cost of people’s blood,” she said before leaving for Lalgarh.
Mamata said her party would not call a bandh to protest the killings, but would condemn it through a “dhikkar diwas” (condemnation day) on Saturday. Senior CPI(M) leader from West Midnapore, Sushanta Ghosh, on the other hand, claimed the Maoists fired at a gathering of CPI(M) party workers, while they assembled to participate in a party programme. “Those killed were CPI(M) activists,” he said.
State chief secretary Samar Ghosh, on the other hand, ruled out the involvement of Maoists behind the massacre. “In all probability, this is a case of political clash and there is no Maoist link to it,” he said.
The Centre said it is closely monitoring the situation in Lalgarh and is in constant touch with the state government to ensure security. The chief minister countered, saying Chidambaram’s letter was written under compulsion of alliance politics with Trinamool and was far from reality. The home minister claimed that he had made the comment basing on specific inputs from different government agencies. –with PTI inputs