A day after violent clashes between workers of the Left and the Trinamool Congress near Kolkata, the CPM has called for a protest rally against the ruling party.
The two parties blame each other for yesterday's violence; both sides claim their rivals were armed. The Left claims 27 of its supporters were injured in the clashes. It claims five of them are in hospital and three have suffered bullet injures. The Trinamool also claims that 10 of its supporters were injured.
Left leaders allege that stones were hurled at some buses filled with its party workers while bullets were fired at others and members were attacked as they headed to Kolkata to participate in a massive protest rally organized to protest against an attack on one of its leaders over the weekend.
10 vehicles were reportedly damaged and torched in the clashes; local channels showed vans on fire and injured people being brought to hospital.
Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, was unwell yesterday but rushed to her office at Writers' Building to chair an emergency meet after the violence erupted. After that session, minister Partha Chatterjee said the CPM instigated the violence when its workers en route to Kolkata attacked Trinamool leader Arabul Islam. When asked who set the buses on fire, he responded, "First let me find out who attacked Arabul."
Arabul Islam, according to the Left, led an attack on Sunday on a former minister from the CPM, Rezzak Mollah. Yesterday's rally had been called to demand Mr Islam's arrest.
(With Inputs from agencies)