When the state of Bengal pushed the fourth phase of voting for 44 seats on Saturday, including 9 Assembly constituencies in Howrah, 5 in Alipurduar, 11 in South 24 Parganas, 9 in Cooch Behar, and 10 in Hooghly. On the same day, there spurted a boil in the Sitalkuchi assembly in Cooch Behar, North Bengal where 5 people were killed in two different incidents of firing.
On Saturday when the Central forces opened fire in self-defence four people were killed at polling booth no. 126 at Amtali Madhyamik Siksha Kendra that falls under Jor Patki gram panchayat at Sitalkuchi. Due to the incident and boil in the area of the ambit, the elections at the polling booth were suspended by the Election Commission.
In talks with Superintendent of Police, Cooch Behar, Debashish Dhar notified that about 300 – 350 people including women attacked the guards with edged weapons after a rumour that a spread of security personnel has beaten up a person who had allegedly fallen ill.
Mr. Dhar further said, “The CISF personnel sought reinforcement from Quick Response Teams (QRT) and the scuffle continued with the people. When the people tried to forcible entering to the polling booth and started snatching weapon, the CISF personnel opened fire which killed four people.”
The Chief Electoral Officer, Aariz Aftab informed that the commission has explored details of the incident from the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police.
When the event happened, a brawl of blaming was glimpsed between the two main parties contesting the elections where the sitting Chief Minister of Bengal Mamata Banerjee went on rebuking the Home Minister Amit Shah for the incident calling it ‘pre-planned and how polls were held to be ‘Shame on democracy’.
While during a rally in Siliguri, Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicted CM Banerjee of provoking people against the armed forces.
Another incident that happened in Sitalkuchi sent shocking waves of fear among the people where an 18-year-old boy, a first-time voter, Anand Barman was killed by the TMC goons (as confessed by the locals) as they opened fire on him on his home return from the polling booth no. 285 at Pathantuli under Bolenhati gram panchayat.
As per the reports, two accused in the incident were detained. Notably, a few days back the BJP West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh’s convoy was attacked by the TMC karyakartas in the Cooch Behar district.
Notably, the ECI has deployed 188 companies of the Central forces in the Cooch Behar district and 793 companies of Central forces across the state for the 4th phase of polling.
Where the attacks and assaults are not taking any halt in Bengal for the past few months, the same day has witnessed another incident of attack on the car of BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee at Chinsurah. One more BJP candidate Indranil Khan at Kasba Assembly also alleged the electoral malpractices. The Chief Electoral Officer said except for these 2 happenings, polling in Cooch Behar was peaceful.
Notably, On Saturday, 135 out of 294 assembly seats had gone for polling. With that Bengal has sighted 4 phases of voting and 4 more phases are yet to be seen which will cover 159 Assembly Constituencies.
With the 5th phase on April 17, the state of Bengal will go under 45 seats in North Bengal and South Bengal districts.
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