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Published On: Mon, May 14th, 2018

7 killed & dozens sustained injuries in panchayat Polls violence in West Bengal

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index.phpKOLKATA: Seven persons were killed by mid-day and dozens sustained injuries in West Bengal on Monday on the day of State-wide rural polls.This is considered to be one of the most violent polls in the State in recent years, according to observers. The three-tier panchayat polls are being held in the state after a protracted legal battle in the Kolkata High Court and the Supreme Court involving the state election commission, the TMC, and opposition parties.
The deaths have been reported from South 24 Paraganas, North 24 Paraganas, Nadia and Murshidabad.The majority of the State’s over six crore electors were expected to vote in the polls. However, in one-third of the seats, the Opposition could not file nominations due to pre-poll violence.The counting will take place on May 17.
In South 24 Parganas, three persons were killed in violence. In the district’s Namkhana area, the house of CPI(M) supporter Debu Das was set on fire in the early hours of the day. Das and his wife Usha died of their burn injuries. At Kultali area in the same district, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporter Arif Hussain Gazi was shot dead. Two persons have been killed at Nakashipara and Shantipur in Nadia district. Death of one person was reported from Amdanga in North 24 Parganas and Beldanga in Murshidabad.WBjpg
The BJP and CPM have blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) of violence during the ongoing West Bengal Panchayat election. Union Minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo on Monday demanded President’s rule in the state, while CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury urged the state election commission (SEC) to act in a way to restore faith in the election process.
TMC leader and Minister Rabindranath Ghosh was caught on camera slapping a BJP supporter in Cooch Behar district. Clashes have been reported at Polerhat II area of Bhangar in South 24 Paraganas and Keshpur in State’s Paschim Mednipur district along with Cooch Behar’s Dinhata area. At a few places, miscreants set ballot papers on fire and threw ballot box in ponds.
There were reports of officers running away from polling stations in some places to escape violence.The Opposition parties have pressed for polls in multiple phases with the deployment of Central armed police forces. It is the last major election in the state before next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
With 40 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats located in the districts, political parties are viewing Monday’s polls as a warm-up match ahead  of the 2019 general elections.  There are allegations that TMC workers were behind the attack.
Incidents of violence were also reported from Bhangar, where a media vehicle was torched and a camera broken. Subsequently, the media was prohibited from entering the area.Furthermore, Bhangar locals blocked the roads, alleging that TMC workers were capturing the polling booth.
Union Minister Babul Supriyo: Demanding President’s rule in the state, Supriyo said he was not surprised by all the incidents that have taken place since morning. “Bengal government is a shameless government, you cannot expect them to follow any kind of c constitutional behavior,” Supriyo said. Election Commission of West Bengal must act, says Yechury: Sitaram Yechury, in a tweet on Monday, called on the SEC to act in a way that will restore faith in the electoral process.
|The opposition CPI(M) and BJP have accused the TMC of terrorising voters and hurling bombs outside polling st ations in Burdwan district.In North 24 Parganas, the BJP accused the ruling TMC of letting loose a reign of terror in several parts of the district, especially in Amdanga are.The TMC has termed the allegations as baseless.Senior minister Jyotipriyo Mullick denied the involvement of the TMC in the incid ent and accused BJP of terrorising the voters. ( With Agency Inputs ).

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