Kolkata: A panchayat worker's ear was chopped off Thursday, allegedly by supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, for not attending office a day earlier during a nationwide strike.
The attack took place in Jalangi in Murshidabad district, some 200 km from here, when Hazrat Omar arrived at his office on the second day of the strike called by trade unions and opposed by the Trinamool Congress.
"I was sitting in the office when some Trinamool goons came and asked why I was absent from office yesterday (Wednesday). Before I could reply, they attacked me with a knife and cut a portion of my left ear," said Omar, undergoing treatment at a hospital.
He said he would would file a police complaint after he was discharged.
The attack drew sharp criticism from opposition parties.
Adhir Chowdhury, a Congress MP from Berhampore in the district, demanded immediate punishment for the guilty.
"The Trinamool Congress has vowed to keep strikers at bay and this is what they are doing. Trinamool is now a party of goons who have gone out of control," he said.
Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta described the incident "state-sponsored terrorism".
"Is this a 'jungle raj' or are we living under the Taliban regime?" said Congress MP Deepa Dasmunsi. "The law and order situation has been steadily deteriorating and the Trinamool government is responsible for this."
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Mohammad Salim said "goons patronised by the Trinamool have turned into fierce beasts and Banerjee has unleashed them asking to pounce on her opponents".
"It's not only the man's but the whole state's ear has been chopped off," he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Smriti Irani said lawlessness was becoming the order of the day in Bengal.