One dead in violence during Bengal civic polls

| Saturday, April 25, 2015 - 17:25
First Published |

One dead in violence during Bengal civic polls

Kolkata: One person was shot dead and another received bullet injuries in West Bengal during polling for 91 civic bodies on Saturday.

The voter turnout at the close of polling was 60 percent, an official said. 

While one person, Indrajit Singh said to be a Trinamool Congress activist, was shot dead at Katwa in Burdwan, another suffered bullet injuries in North 24 Parganas district.

"He (Singh) was shot dead by unidentified miscreants. We have sought a report on the incident," Burdwan district magistrate Saumitra Mohan said.

Trinamool leaders have pointed fingers at Congress activists over Singh's killing.

Polling in several districts across north and south Bengal was temporarily suspended after tremors, lasting over a minute, were felt following a 7.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday.

The tremors led to temporary suspension of polling in many booths in the districts of Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, North Dinajpur, Murshidabad and Howrah.

"At 3 p.m., the scheduled close of voting, about 60 percent turnout was recorded. It is likely to go up as there are many voters still queuing up to cast their vote," said officer on special duty (OSD), state election commission, Sabyasachi Ghosh.

"While the tremors created panic among the voters for a brief period, several elderly voters had to be given medical attention after feeling uncomfortable and dizzy," said the official.

In North 24 Parganas' Titagarh, a voter was allegedly shot in the leg while Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Govind Pal alleged that Trinamool miscreants fired at him but he escaped unhurt.

There were also reports of crude bombs being hurled at several places across North 24 Parganas, Burdwan and Bankura districts resulting in injuries to several people. Several crude bombs were recovered by police in Sonamukhi town in Bankura district.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Darjeeling S.S. Ahluwalia alleged that several party candidates contesting the Siliguri Municipality polls, and activists were assaulted by Trinamool goons.

"Since midnight, our people have come under intense attack by Trinamool goons. Our candidates have been beaten up, party activists and polling agent been assaulted. There is a reign of terror unleashed by Trinamool," said Ahluwalia.

CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty charged the ruling Trinamool with turning the polls into a 'farce' yet again like the April 18 Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) polls.

"After the KMC polls, the Trinamool again turned these polls into a farce. There has been large scale violence, booth capturing and voter intimidation," said Chakraborty.

Trinamool secretary-general Partha Chatterjee has rubbished the opposition's charges and said the polls were peaceful.

There are 7,636 candidates contesting for 1,946 wards of the 91 municipal bodies -- one Notified Area, two Municipal Corporations (Siliguri and Chandannagar) and 88 municipalities -- spread across north and south Bengal.

The results will be declared on April 28.

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