Saturday, December 9, 2023

Widespread violence during West Bengal panchayat polls; At least 10 killed in clashes

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At least ten people were allegedly killed in West Bengal as widespread violence are reported during the polling process in the Panchayat elections on Saturday. The casualties are feared to rise as more reports of violence are reported.

Polling booths were vandalised and ballot papers set on fire at places as people queued up to vote for the crucial three-tier panchayat elections. Visuals shared on social media show ballot boxes being robbed and firing in polling booths.

Two children were injured in a blast in West Bengal‘s South 24 Parganas district which happened when they picked up a crude bomb from the roadside mistaking it to be a ball, officials said.

BJP and Congress blamed Mamta Banerjee’s ruling Trinamool Congress for the violence. BJP also alleged that the death toll is 15, although no official sources confirm it.

As the polling commenced at 7 am, three Trinamool Congress workers were allegedly killed in separate incidents Nadia, Murshidabad and Malda district; A BJP polling agent had reportedly been killed in Cooch Behar and a CPI(M) worker who was critically injured last evening in East Burdwan district, succumbed to his wounds in a hospital.

Another supporter of an independent candidate was allegedly injured in a clash in Kadambagachi of North 24 Parganas. His family claimed that the man was beaten to death. However, Barasat district police SP Bhaskar Mukherjee said that he is critical and is under treatment at a hospital.

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