TMC supporter killed in crude blomb blast in Bengal's Andal

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Asansol (WB), Mar 25 (PTI) A 40-year-old man, known to be a TMC supporter, was killed in a crude bomb blast in Paschim Bardhaman district of poll-bound West Bengal, police said on Thursday.

Several others were also injured in the explosion that happened in Jamdabad Benedi in Andal police station limits late on Wednesday, triggering tension in the area days ahead of the elections amid a political slugfest over the law and order situation.

According to local sources, TMC supporter Sarban Chowdhury along with a few others was making crude bombs at a house in the village when the 'accidental explosion' happened.

He was taken to a private hospital in Raniganj where he died while undergoing treatment on Thursday morning.

Those injured could not be identified and their whereabouts were not immediately known, police said.

The house was also damaged in the explosion, they said, adding that an investigation is underway.

Andal is in the Pandabeswar assembly constituency where elections will be held in the seventh phase on April 26.

The opposition BJP and CPI(M) said that the incident point to the deteriorating law and order situation in the state with TMC 'goons' making bombs to disturb peace during the elections.

'The TMC candidate from here is an expert in bomb- making. He has given the responsibility of killing me to some people and this incident was the result of that. There are plans to attack me during the elections,' Pandabeswar's BJP candidate Jitendra Tiwari alleged.

Local CPI(M) leader Pravat Bauri said the person who was killed was 'well-known' for his bomb-making skills.

'They are trying to create tension in the area ahead of the elections,' he said.

Denying the charges, TMC said the party has no connection to the incident.

'This incident happened because of a fight between BJP old-timers and the new people who have joined the party.

Unnecessarily TMC is being blamed to divert the attention,' TMC's head of the local panchayat Birbahadur Singh said.

Tiwari, former district president of the TMC, joined the BJP ahead of the elections and was made the party's candidate from the seat. PTI CORR SOM SOM