Kolkata: A 50-year-old man, claimed to be a Congress activist, was hacked to death outside a booth during polling in Murshidabad Lok Sabha constituency, a senior state police officer said.
Nine others including two women were seriously wounded as poll violence marred third phase of Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal.
This is the first incident of killing in Bengal during the 17th Lok Sabha elections.
Incidents of violent clashes, firings and bombings were reported from Malda (North and South constituencies), Murshidabad, Jangipur and Berhampore despite CRPF presence in 92% of the booths. Nearly 317 companies of para military forces were deployed in the third phase in Bengal.
At Bhagwangola’s Baligram village in Murshidabad, Piyarul Sheikh was stabbed to death after he was caught in a clash between TMC and Congress in Murshidabad.
Piyarul Sheikh’s body before taken for Post Mortem Examination in Murshidabad government hospital
It was learnt that one Sheikh Lalu from TMC allegedly tried to prevent Congress supporters from casting their votes. In the meantime, Lal Mohammad, a local Congress leader, along with his armed supporters clashed with Lalu’s henchmen in front of booth number 188 at Baligram Primary School under Ranitala police station.
Piyarul who was standing in the queue waiting for his turn to cast his votes, was caught in between and was stabbed multiple times on his stomach. He was declared brought dead in a local hospital.
Piyarul’s son Mehtab questioned the role of para military forces. “We heard that there will be heavy protection for the voters. But we could not find any para military forces in front of booth number 188 where my father was killed. I demand an answer from the election commission.”
Speaking to News18, OC of Ranitala police station, Arindam Das, said, “We have detained few people in this connection. His body has been sent for post mortem examination. Presently, the situation is peaceful.”
A large number of para military forces were also deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident.
CPI (M)’s Bhagwangola MLA Mahasin Ali lodged a complaint with Ranitala police station and demanded immediate action.
In Kolkata, Congress supporters gathered in front of Election Commission (EC) office and protested against the killing of Piyarul Sheikh. They also alleged that the EC has failed in ensuring free and fair poll in Bengal.
Meanwhile, Election Commission has sought a report from the local administration.
Crude and canister bombs were hurled to terrorize the voters allegedly by the workers of TMC, Congress and BJP in Murshidabad.
At Domkal in Murshidabad, husband of local councilor Tajmal Haque was seriously injured after being allegedly attacked by the TMC cadres. “I condemned the incident of violence in Murshidabad and want the Election Commission to take immediate action against the trouble makers,” local Congress MLA Shaoni Singha Roy said.
Two women BJP supporters were also roughed up allegedly by the TMC workers in Domkal while one Sagar Roy (BJP worker) was beaten up at North Malda’s Sasan area for raising voice against booth capturing. They are admitted in the local hospital with head injuries.
In another incident, BJP worker Sagar Roy was attacked for raising voice against TMC workers for creating law and order problem in North Malda.
At Motigunj in North Malda, a TMC camp office was razed allegedly by the BJP supporters. One person received leg injuries. The incident took place after TMC cadres damaged the BJP camp office in the same area.
In a separate incident, a BJP worker was beaten up allegedly by TMC supporters in North Malda.
Similar incidents of clashes were also reported at Hariharpara, Rejinagar, Beldanga and Raninanagar. Total nine persons were injured in the clashes. At Khargram in Jangipur constituency, a Congress block president was allegedly beaten up by the TMC supporters.
At Motigunj in North Malda, a TMC camp office was razed allegedly by the BJP supporters.
Poll percentage in West Bengal till 5pm was around 78.97%. “231 have been arrested in poll related violence including three who were involved in the killing of the voter in Murshidabad,” IGP, Law and Order, Siddhi Nath Gupta said.