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“TMC goons came in police uniform, opened fire,” says wife of ISF worker killed in poll violence

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Locals mourn outside the house of Razaul Gazi.

Asma Tara Bibi, wife of 23-year-old Indian Secular Front (ISF) worker Razaul Gazi said her husband was killed by Trinamool Congress goons who came to polling station in police uniform and started firing ISF workers.

Gazi was among the three persons killed during the violence outside a counting centre in Bhangar in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas on Tuesday night.

“I know (TMC leader) Arabul Islam and his goons have killed my husband. They came to the school in police uniform and started firing,” Asma said to Indian Express.

“I want justice. They should be hanged,” said Asma who married Razaul a year and a half ago and has a four-month girl.

Razaul Gazi, ISF worker Hassan Mollah (27) and Raju Mollah (25) who was not associated with any political party were killed in the clash on Tuesday night.

Hassan’s brother, Iman, recounted the events that transpired in front of Kanthalia High School on Tuesday around 9 pm. ISF workers gathered there after they received information that TMC leaders had allegedly coerced the local ISF candidate Jahanara Bibi into admitting in writing that she had been defeated in the panchayat polls.

“We were protesting and demanding the release of our candidate Jahanara Bibi when suddenly all the street lights went off and gun firing began. We don’t know whether they were police or TMC goons who were firing at us. We saw they were firing from a two-storeyed building near the school. We started to run and take shelter. Suddenly, I heard that Hassan was shot in front of the school,” Indian Express quotes Iman as saying.

At least six deaths were reported from across West Bengal on Wednesday even as counting of votes for the three-tier panchayat elections continued, taking the toll to 48 in poll-related violence since June 8 when the rural polls were announced. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, however, claimed that 19 people died in poll-related violence since June 8. She announced ₹2 lakh ex gratia each to the next of kin of the deceased and a job in home guard to one family member.

The fatalities primarily affected marginalized regions, including Malda and Murshidabad, where a considerable number of the Bengali Muslim victims resided. Most affected districts, hit by violence include, Murshidabad, Nadia, Cooch Behar, and South 24 Parganas.

At least 33 among 48 killed were identified as Muslims.

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