In four districts across West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress's student wing Trinamool Chhatra Parishad or TMCP and the BJP's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP clashed today over the filing of nominations for college union elections that are around the corner. The police had to resort to lathicharge in at least two cases, in Bankura and Birbhum districts.
The turf war between TMCP and ABVP has intensified since December 22, when the ABVP won a college election in Purulia district and also managed to win 10 of 23 seats in another college. The student's unions of the Trinamool and Congress had to join hands in the second college to keep the ABVP out.
Trouble erupted early today at Sammelani College at Bankura, when ABVP students were allegedly not allowed by TMCP students to file nominations for the elections, due on January 7.
ABVP students, who allegedly blocked the road in front of the college, were reportedly attacked by TMCP students with rods, in spite of the presence of policemen. When the situation turned ugly, the police reportedly resorted to lathicharge.
There was similar trouble in at least two other colleges in Bankura district.
Clashes between the TMCP and the ABVP also reportedly turned violent at three colleges in Birbhum district, at Ilambazar, Khaoirashol and Bolpur.
At Ilambazar, bombs were allegedly hurled and the police reportedly resorted to lathicharge on the students.
At Bolpur, ABVP students who were reportedly not allowed to file nominations staged a protest; student elections are due in these colleges on January 7-8.
In Burdwan district, clashes erupted at a college in Kalna and three colleges in the Durgapur area. The ABVP claimed they were prevented from filing nominations in those colleges by the TMCP.
A clash was also reported at Khandra College in Burdwan district, but this was between the TMCP and the Student's Federation of India - the CPM's student wing. College elections in Burdwan district are due on January 10.