Police fire as CPM-Congress clash in N Dinajpur

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Raiganj, Jul 3 (UNI) At least two people were injured when CPI(M) and Congress supporters fought a pitched battle today in Gokarna village following a dispute over municipality election result.

Official sources said police had to fire nine rounds in the air to control the situation. The injured had been admitted to the Raiganj Hospital.

Trouble arose after a tie in the 14-member Gokarna Gram Panchayat, result of which was declared yesterday. Both the ruling CPI(M) and the opposition Congress secured seven seats each.

At this Sub-Divisional Officer Tapas Kumar Bagchi suggested secret balloting in favour of a candidate of both sides. After polling it emerged the Congress had bagged eight votes as against CPI(M)'s six. But the SDO declared the result invalid and ordered re-polling.

Congress supporters then went berserk and clashed with their rivals. Both sides burst bombs prompting the police to fire in the air.

Irate people gheraoed the SDO and BDO but were subsequently freed by the police.

Mr Bagchi later suggested that the parties settle the dispute through a toss. He tossed a coin, the CPI(M) called 'heads' and the result went in their favour.

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