After voting, violence and murder: Two CPM workers killed in clashes with Trinamool

Simmering tension in a West Bengal village split in two political halves erupted on Thursday night when a CPI(M) worker and a polling agent of the party were allegedly hacked to death by TMC supporters, hours after voting ended in the third phase of Assembly elections in the state.

According to police and residents of Lodhna village in the Khandaghosh Assembly constituency of Bardhaman, polling agent Sheikh Fazal Haque (56) and Dukhi Ram Dal (56) were attacked with lathis and iron rods as they were returning home at about 8 pm on Thursday.

The two were rushed to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital but died soon after, police said.

While both parties blamed each other for the clash that led to the killings, police officers traced the violence to a political upheaval in 2011 when the TMC made deep inroads into what had been a Left stronghold since 1942.

So much so, that Lodhna, on the banks of the Damodar river, has since split into two halves – Gainpara, comprising TMC sympathisers, and Metepara, which has stuck with the Left. Haque and Dal were from Metepara. Thursday’s attack took place on a narrow bridge connecting Gainpara and Metepara, said police.

“After an explosion, it seems Haque tried to flee but got entangled in some netting on the edge of a field and was killed there. Dal was chased for a while and then hacked,” said Sub-Inspector Mohammad Saifuddin, who was on duty in the area at the time of the incident.

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