Violence mars West Bengal Panchayat polls

Violence mars West Bengal Panchayat polls

Violence mars West Bengal Panchayat polls

Opposition parties later pointed fingers at ruling Trinamool as several reports of violence emerged from across West Bengal during the ongoing Panchayat polls. Incidents of violence marred the electoral campaign in the state in the run-up to the panchayat elections.

The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal had captured 34 per cent seats and close to 16,000 village council seats even before by-polls could begin in the state. The top leaders of all parties have campaigned in this election.

Another person died in clashes between two groups outside a polling booth in Nakashipara area in Nadia.

As reports of violence and deaths started flowing in from different districts on Monday, the SEC's office started frequent interactions with the state police bosses. At Bhangor in South 24 Parganas, there are eight Zilla Parishad and one Panchayat Samiti. "We are yet to decide where the petition will be moved before Calcutta High Court or the Supreme Court which had directed the election commission to ensure peaceful polls", CPM counsel Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya said. He admitted to six more unnatural deaths but said it couldn't be confirmed if these were related to the election.

Three deaths were reported from Murshidabad while two were killed in East Midnapore's Nandigram.

More bitter legal battles followed, at the end of which the SEC declared May 14 as the new polling date.

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On Friday, Arabul Islam was arrested by West Bengal police from his North Gazipur residence at Bhangor for allegedly murdering Hafizul Mollah an activist of the Jomi Jibika Bastutantra O Poribesh Raksha Committee. Of the three bombs, two were found on railway tracks, RPF sources said.

Videos of party workers, armed with sticks, were seen stopping voters from entering booth at several booths.

Catch went to some of the polling booths at Bhangor in South 24 Pargana.

According to reports, at least 19 persons had died on Monday against seven in the five-stage 2013 polls.

In Keshpur area in West Midnapore, police resorted to lathicharge and chased people allegedly threatening voters. "Forensic experts have been called", Sundarbans Coastal police district SP Tathagata Basu said. "I demand President's Rule in WB", Mr Supriyo said.

Senior leader of the party Nilotpal Basu added that numerous election commission's observers, who have been appointed to monitor and conduct fair polls, could not be reached as their telephone numbers that were handed over to the political parties did not work.

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