Bengal Panchayat Poll: CPI(M) worker shot dead; seven people died since poll dates announced

In the latest spate of violence, a 23-year-old CPI(M) worker succumbed to death today at Siliguri's nursing home due to injuries suffered during a clash

Panchayat polls in West Bengal (photo courtesy: Getty)
Panchayat polls in West Bengal (photo courtesy: Getty)

NH Digital

The ongoing violence on the last day of the July 8 Panchayat polls' withdrawal engulfs several parts of West Bengal (WB), and most political parties are blaming each other.

In the latest spate of violence, a 23-year-old CPI(M) worker succumbed to death today at Siliguri's nursing home due to injuries suffered during a clash at North Dinajpur district on 15 June (the last day of nomination filing for the panchayat polls).

A functionary said the party worker was allegedly beaten with sticks and suffered a bullet injury. He was in critical condition and was admitted to a private nursing home in Siliguri.

The Hindustan Times reported around seven people died since the poll dates were announced due to political violence in WB. The violence broke out on the last day of polls, and a person was injured on Tuesday.

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "Our candidates were attacked. Is there any administration in the state? We are staging a demonstration to protest."

The TMC alleged that Congress workers fought among themselves over refusing tickets to some of their workers. The TMC workers allegedly attacked the CPI(M) candidates' houses.

On Monday, a TMC candidate, Dolly Khatun's husband, Azizur Rahman, was allegedly beaten by a group of men and shot in his legs at Konamukta village of Gitaldah gram panchayat in Cooch Behar. He was shifted to Dinhata Hospital in the district. He said to the police, “When we were returning from a party meeting, BJP workers started arguing with us. There was a fight, and then they fired at us. I was shot in the leg,” according to The Indian Express report.

The report stated he's also a worker in the TMC. The TMC alleged that the BJP workers were behind the attacks. However, the BJP denied the charges.

Although, the Supreme Court (SC) upheld on Tuesday the decision of the Calcutta high court to allow the central security forces to enter WB to maintain free and fair elections in the poll, according to The Hindu. The report stated that the judges referred to WB's 'history of violence' as a reason to deploy forces in the state.

Suraj Chakraborty, a CPI(M) central committee member, demanded justice and investigation in this matter for the death of their student activist.

The Bengal's opposition parties have alleged that their candidates and supporters faced violence and intimidation by TMC activists. However, the ruling is blaming opposition parties for clashes at various places in the state during nomination filing and withdrawal of the candidature period, which ended on Tuesday.

Elections will be held in the three-tier Panchayati Raj system on 8 July for around 75,000 seats in WB.

With inputs from PTI

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