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Six killed in violence, clashes during Bengal rural polls

IANS  |  Kolkata 

At least six people were killed on Monday in West as violence and clashes between supporters of different parties in several districts marred voting for the rural bodies.

"We have, so far, received telephonic complaints of six deaths. We are awaiting written confirmation," said Nilanjan Shandilya, who put the polling percentage till 1 p.m. at over 41 per cent.

A youth was beaten to death as he tried to enter a polling premises in district while a Trinamool activist was shot dead in South 24 district's Kultali, police said.

The claimed one of their activists was killed in bomb attacks in North 24 district's Amdanga.

Two deaths were reported from district, and another from

"Three youths were beaten up by locals in district's Shantipur area on Monday morning. Police rescued and got them admitted to a local hospital. One of them, Sanjit Pramanik, succumbed to his injuries," Nadia district of Police told IANS.

"Trinamool was shot in the chest while coming out of a polling booth. He died in a hospital," an from station said.

Though CPI-M's North 24 leaders claimed their party activist died in Amdanga after he was attacked with crude bombs, there was no police confirmation.

"We have heard of the incident but it is not confirmed yet. We are going to the spot," an from station said.

The polling for electing 38,616 representatives in three tiers of the Panchayati Raj institutions started at 7 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m.

As the day progressed, reports of clashes, booth capturing, vandalising of ballot boxes and rigging were received from pockets of South and North 24 Parganas, North Dinajpur, Nadia, and Cooch Behar districts.

In South 24 Parganas' Bhangar, the 'Jomi, Jibika, Bastutantra O Poribesh Raksha Committee' (Committee for protecting land, livelihood, ecology and environment), which is spearheading an anti-power grid movement in the area, accused armed miscreants of the Trinamool of kidnapping their Panchayat Samiti candidate and terrorising voters.

The committee alleged that their candidate was severely injured in an attack by Trinamool Congress-backed miscreants and was taken to

Clashes were also reported in the district's Namkhana and several other areas.

In north Bengal's Cooch Behar, was accused of slapping a polling agent and forcing him out of the polling premises, following which the SEC sought a report from the district administration.

The Minister, however, denied all allegations.

Violence also took place in district's Panskura and district's Keshpur where gun-toting miscreants gathered outside the polling stations and beat up voters.

Several attempts to rig the election process were also reported across the state as miscreants poured water into ballot boxes or set them on fire.

Initially, voting for the rural bodies was to be held on May 1, 3 and 5 but as the nomination process started in April, it was rescheduled to May 14 by the SEC following a order to extend the nomination deadline and announce a fresh polling date.

Statistics reveal that of the total 58,692 seats in the three tiers of the rural local bodies, 20,076 seats, or 34.2 per cent, have been decided uncontested, with the Trinamool bagging a whopping proportion of these seats.

These include 16,814 of the total 48,650 gram panchayats seats, 3,059 of the 9,217 panchayat samiti seats and 203 of the 825 zila parishad seats.

The has now asked the SEC not to issue winning certificates in these seats.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 15:46 IST