West Bengal Panchayat elections: Election violence does not stop, death toll rises to 15

Jackson Brown

West Bengal Panchayat Elections: The death toll in the panchayat poll violence in West Bengal rose to 15 after one more body was recovered from South 24 Parganas and two people were injured. There is tension in the area and police have been deployed to prevent the situation from worsening. A large contingent has been deployed.

Officials gave this information on Sunday. The body of a person, identified as Abu Salem Khan, was found near the polling booth in West Gabtala under Kultali police station area, he said. He had an injury on his head. Locals said that he was known as a Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker in the area.

Police said investigation is on to ascertain the reason behind the death. There is tension in the area and a large contingent of police has been deployed to prevent the situation from worsening. Another TMC worker Azhar Lashkar, who was injured in Sunday’s violence in Basanti area of ​​the district, succumbed to his injuries at the government-run SSKM hospital in Kolkata. This was confirmed by the doctors treating the worker.

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TMC worker Motiur Rahman was stabbed outside a polling station at Baisannagar in Malda district, officials said. The incident took place near KBC Primary School in Barkamat area. The TSC alleged that the incident took place when Congress workers were trying to tamper with the ballot box and it tried to stop them. The Congress has denied the allegation.

The official said Rehman died on the way to Malda Medical College and Hospital. Till Saturday night, 12 people were reported dead in the violence during the elections in the state. Eight of these persons were supporters of the ruling party and one each of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Congress.

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However, various political parties put the death toll higher, totaling 18. The TMC has claimed that nine of its workers have been killed, while the Congress has claimed the death of three of its supporters. The BJP has said that two of its workers have died and the CPI(M) has also reported the death of two of its members. The political affiliation of two of the dead has not been confirmed.

The State Election Commission (SEC) said it has sought a detailed report from the district magistrates on the deaths during the panchayat polls. “We have asked the district magistrates to report on the deaths within 24 hours,” said an official.

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Officials said elections were held for 73,887 seats under the state’s three-tier Panchayati Raj system, for which 2.06 lakh candidates were in the fray. As per the provisional figures, 66.28 per cent polling was recorded. He informed that re-polling is underway at 32 polling stations in Cooch Behar district’s Dinhata.
Chetan Gour (Language)

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