Kolkata: The fourth phase of polling in West Bengal has been marred by intense group clashes and violence. At least four people were killed and four people were injured in Cooch Behar in North Bengal. According to initial reports, the central forces had to open fire when they tried to stop clashes between two rival groups resulting in the death of three people. All three were claimed to be Trinamool Congress supporters.
“The Quick Response Team in booth No. 126 swung into action to calm things,” a source said adding Special Police Observer observer Vivek Dubey has been provided with a ground report from Cooch Behar.
The 1981 batch IPS officer hails from Andhra Pradesh cadre.
Some poll officials and security personnel were also attacked and it was given out that security forces opened fire as self defence measures.
BJP leader Pranab Roy said the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should be ‘blamed’ for such unfortunate incidents as she had herself instigated people against the central forces.
Immediate actions ought to be taken by the Election Commission in the manner Trinamool Congress supremo was undertaking her campaign and trying to target the central forces. It is worth mentioning that the Election Commission has already served a notice to Mamata Banerjee and took exception to her campaign speeches wherein she has tried to drag the central security personnel in the election row and urged ‘women voters’ to gherao them if necessary.
Earlier in the day, one BJP worker, Ananda Barman was killed allegedly by Trinamool workers. The Election Commission has separately sought a report on this as well, sources said.
Barman was reportedly attacked as he was standing in a queue outside a polling booth in the Sitalkuchi Assembly constituency in Cooch Behar. Trinamool has fielded Partha Pratim Ray against Baren Chandra Barman of BJP. The Sitalkuchi assembly constituency was held by Hiten Barman of Trinamool Congress in the outgoing
“Heart wrenching reports of 5 innocent people shot dead by Central Forces coming in from Cooch Behar,” Trinamool leader Abhishek Banerjee tweeted.