At least five persons, including three of Revolutionary Socialist Party and one of Communist Party of India-Marxist, were killed as the turf war between West Bengal's ruling Left Front partners turned violent in the second phase of Panchayat elections on Wednesday.
Four people, three belonging to RSP and one to CPI-M, died in poll-related violence at Basanti in South 24 Parganas district and another was killed at Domjur in Howrah district, IG (Law & Order) Raj Kanojia told media persons in Kolkata.
He said that so far, 50 to 60 arrests had been made during the day in the five districts which went to poll in the second phase.
Kanojia said that till 1700 hours, the polling percentage was between 55-60 per cent.
In Nadia district, two persons were injured in a bomb blast. One person was arrested, he said.
In Basanti, two policemen were beaten up by RSP supporters and a rifle was snatched on Tuesday evening, which was recovered on Wednesday, he said.
With tension prevailing in the area, the Border Security Force and Rapid Action Force were on patrol.
Resenting the killing of three of its activists, the RSP charged the Marxists had unleashed terror and democracy was 'dead' in the state.
'What has happened is the death of democracy. CPI-M has been unleashing terror to cling to power as they know a free and fair voting will spell their doom,' RSP leader and Jail Minister Biswanath Chowdhury said.
Senior RSP leader and PWD minister Khiti Goswami described the bloodshed as 'pre-planned' and 'nothing short of what happened in Nandigram where armed CPI-M cadres recaptured the villages from the opposition'.
CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose said the clashes would not affect the coalition's unity.