New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram has called West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to Delhi a day after at least eight people were shot dead and 17 others injured in Lalgarh on Friday.
The Trinamool Congress blamed armed CPM squads, but the state Home Secretary called it a political clash. (Read: 8 killed in Lalgarh violence)
The Home Minister had shot off a letter to Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday.
"I drew his attention to this very grave incident and requested him to kindly reschedule his appointments and visit Delhi as soon as possible," said P Chidambaram. (Read: Chidambaram writes to Buddhadeb)
In Kolkata, sources confirmed the receipt of the Home Minister's letter but said Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had no plans to visit Delhi anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool in Kolkata marched through the city with bodies of three party workers allegedly killed in political clashes. But soon news from Largarh took over completely. They did not let our workers enter the village. In fact the villagers are fighting a battle even as we speak," Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee said.
From Lalgarh's Netai village, there are conflicting reports. One version is that CPM workers opened fire on villagers who surrounded the house where armed CPM cadre were staying. Locals claimed the CPM was pressurising them to give food, join the party and stand guard at night.
"They want us to go for the training. We revolted against it and this is what has happened. They told us if we do not go for training, then they will kill us. The camps belong to Harmads," said an angry villager.
Another version is, a Trinamool procession was passing by the house where CPM workers were staying. A shot was fired from the procession and CPM workers fired back.
The administration is not confirming either version, simply calling it a political clash.
Late on Friday evening, the CPM issued a statement blaming Trinamool and Maoists.
"Since last night, Trinamool and Maoist elements were trying to attack uprooted CPM supporters who had returned to Netai village. This morning, when they attacked villagers, the villagers fought back. The attack was led by Trinamool and Maoist elements."
West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan called it 'Bengal's day of shame' and urged the state government to take action. "For our State it is a day of sorrow and shame. No State can accept such mindless discord. This has gone on for far too long. It is incumbent upon the authorities to begin to act decisively to preempt, prevent or quell attempts at violence, irrespective of the affiliations of the groups involved. A decisive stage has been reached for the Government to act, before it becomes a point of no return." Narayanan said in a statement issued by Raj Bhawan. (Read: West Bengal Governor hurt by Lalgarh violence)