Mayhem in Bengal Panchayat polling; 13 killed

4 mins read

West Bengal witnessed unbridled violence during the single phase three-tier Panchayat polling as 13 people owing allegiance to both ruling Trinamool Congress and Opposition lost their lives in different parts of the state on Saturday.

While eight Trinamool Congress activists, including a candidate, were killed, two each belonging to the BJP and CPI(M) and one Congress fell prey to the violent incidents.

The districts of Murshidabad, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur and Cooch Behar bore the brunt of the violence, besides Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas.

Apart from violent clashes that injured scores of people, ballot boxes were destroyed in at least two polling booths.

Meanwhile, till 5 PM 66 per cent votes were cast as far latest report.

Governor C V Ananda Bose said, ” I will do whatever is expected from a Governor. “

Expressing utter dissatisfaction at the law and order situation in the state, Bose said, ” Matter of great concern. I have been in the field right from the morning. People requested me and stopped my motorcade on the way. They told me about the murders happening around them. They told me how goons are not allowing them to

go to the polling booths. It is a matter of great concern for all of

us. This is the most sacred day for democracy. The election must be through ballots and not bullets. “

Bengal has been witnessing incidents of violence since Panchayat poll date was announced on June 8.

On Saturday, Bose visited some violence-hit areas in North 24 Parganas and Nadia, where he met the family of an injured person.

The Governor also visited the injured man at the hospital and arranged for shifting the victim to a Kolkata-base hospital.

Bose was stopped near Basudebpur on his way to Nadia, where opposition parties’ supporters complained of rigging and violence.

The Guv asked, ” Who will protect the protectors of democracy. The Election Commission is seen nowhere, yet the Commissioner is tight lipped. “

The Guv said he was told that killings and violences were being reported from different parts of the state. “Who is going to protect the ordinary people . The Election Commission is silent. I have asked him to reply me who is there to protect the people and the democracy,” Bose asserted.

Demanding imposition of Article 356 or 355 in West Bengal to safeguard democracy in the state, Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said, “Not only the ballot boxes, Democracy itself has ended up in the Gutter,” while State BJP President Sukanta Majumdar stated, “Democracy is dead in West Bengal.”

” West Bengal Panchayat Elections – Carnival of DEMO’N’CRACY. Mamata Banerjee’s henchman & contract killer; State Election Commissioner Rajiv Sinha is executing her plans across the State. This is their democracy model, “

Adhikari, the Nandigram MLA, tweeted.

He also called upon the people and his supporters for “Kalighat Chalo” and

remove the bricks there come what may.

” I will lead the march if firing happens. I am ready to face for restoration of democracy in Bengal, ” he thundered.

” I left her party (TMC) and friendship in a bid to save democracy,” and demanded imposition of Article 356 or 355 in the state. I don’t mind what Delhi says but I demand imposition of those articles and lead ‘Kalighat Chalo’ and remove bricks there. I don’t mind even if 10-20 people are killed in the firing, but I want to restore democracy in Bengal, ” Adhikari asserted.

Majumdar said, ” Bengal is the only place where we are counting the number of people killed instead of voting % on the voting day. “

” No place in Bengal goes without violence and rigging today, ” he added.

Alleging that TMC hooliganism has crossed all limits and is now stifling democracy by looting ballots openly in the West Bengal Panchayat elections, he said, ” Didi and her goons’ style of mockery of the voting never disappoint. Ballot Boxes are set ablaze in Coochbehar district. The polling officials have fled. “

Asking where is SEC? Majumdar said, ” SEC has failed completely despite court orders. “

” Shame on CM @MamataOfficial. Democracy is vanished in the state and it’s a dark chapter of the India’s electoral history. SEC has failed to deploy central forces despite court orders, ” the BJP President further alleged.

” This is complete mockery of the free election and democratic process, ” he said adding, ” Even courts’ instructions are not being followed. “

Alleging that on the one hand, the SEC is reluctant to deploy the central forces, he said, “On the other hand, civil volunteers are deployed for the election duty. This clearly shows that state govt and SEC has hoodwinked the courts.”

” Is SEC silently facilitating the booth capturing by TMC goons ? ” the BJP MP from Balurghat asked.

Alleging that BJP polling agent Madhav Biswas was murdered at Coochbehar’s Falimari, he asked, ” Is this why CM @MamataOfficial was opposing the deployment of the central forces so that her goons have free run to murder opposition karyakartas? “

Stating that TMC knows only “language of violence, murder and booth capturing”, Majumdar held Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the SEC responsible for these murders.

The Trinamool Congress alleged it was failure on the part of central forces tasked with security.

TMC spokesman Kunal Ghosh said majority of the victims were their supporters.

He described the Governor as “BJP agent” and alleged that Bose was campaigning even today on the streets.

Ghosh said, ” Bose must be ready with bags and baggages after July 11, the

day poll results will be announced.

The party alleged, ” Those who advocated for the principles of democracy are the ones responsible for its demise. Incumbent Pradhan of Bidyanandpur Gram Panchayat BRUTALLY ATTACKED by @INCWestBengal workers in Uttar Dinajpur. The Central Forces are NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. “

” In Baroj Gram Panchayat, Bhagabanpur-II Block, BJP MLA Rabindranath Maity was seen capturing the booths with the help of the CRPF. Our supporters are being TORTURED & ASSAULTED by the BJP Goons. Meanwhile, THE CRPF PLAYS THE ROLE OF A MUTE SPECTATOR, ” the party tweeted.

” Is this why @BJP4Bengal DEMANDED the deployment of Central Forces? To assist them in INFLICTING VIOLENCE upon the people of Bengal? ” it asked.

” @BJP4India, @CPIM_WESTBENGAL and @INCWestBengal must be enjoying their front row seats in this theatre of death and mass destruction. The tragic deaths of two of our party workers in Basanti and Katwa highlight the incompetence of Central Forces who have been nothing but mute spectators. Is this how you celebrate democracy? ” the party further asked.

” @BJP4Bengal stoops to new lows in their assault on democracy. They shamelessly opened fire outside a polling booth in Dinhata, Cooch Behar, preventing people from exercising their fundamental right to vote. Such desperate tactics only expose their attempt to obstruct free and fair elections, ” it stated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Regional