Malda: A 3-year-old was shot during clashes that erupted in Malda on Thursday over the issue of formation of Panchayat boards. The child is admitted to a hospital in Malda where he is undergoing treatment and is critical. The child is the son of an elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member who had later changed parties and became a Trinamool Congress (TMC) member.

The child Mrinal who received bullet injuries on the head is the son of Putul Mondal who won the rural body election in Manikchak village on a BJP ticket. Clashes broke out after the BJP and Trinamool were tied at nine votes but the former won the posts of Pradhan and deputy pradhan in a lottery to break the tie. Meanwhile, a BJP leader claimed that the TMC had promised Mondal an amount between Rs 5-7 lakh but when she went to demand the money, she was turned down as the latter had not succeeded in forming a board.

Thereafter, an altercation ensued between the two parties which ultimately led to the clashes. Both BJP and TMC engaged in a verbal battle and blamed each other for carrying out the attack in which the child became a target.

The rural body election had BJP win 10 seats, Trinamool six, while the Congress and an independent candidate won a seat each. Till now, three people have been killed and 17 others have been injured in group clashes over the formation of a panchayat board in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district.