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Sporadic violence during third phase WB panchayat polls

Last updated on: July 19, 2013 19:24 IST

Two persons were killed, while the body of a teenager was fished out from a pond, as stray incidents of violence, booth jamming and rigging were reported during the third phase of the panchayat elections in West Bengal on Friday which saw a turnout of around 75 per cent.

 

State Election Commission sources said that there was around 75 per cent turnout in the three districts of South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas and Howrah.

 

Trinamool Congress supporter Sanat Ghosh was shot dead in at Morapai under Usti police station in South 24 Parganas, Superintendent of Police Pravin Tripathi told PTI.

 

A 65-year-old man, Motherbux Mullick was fatally injured in a bomb explosion in Bodai gram panchayat under Amdanga police in North 24 Parganas district and died in Barasat hospital, Superintendent of Police Sugata Sen said.

 

The CPI-M claimed that Mullick was a party supporter.

 

At Ghutiarishariff in South 24 Parganas, the body of 16-year-old Somnath Mukhopadhay with wounds was recovered from a pond, Additional SP K Barui said.

 

He, however, said that it could be the result of personal rivalry and not related to the elections.

 

Notwithstanding the incidents of violence, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed at an election rally at Rampurhat in Birbhum district that the third phase of elections was peaceful, even though an 'alienated' CPI-M was crying hoarse about terror.

 

Alleging that the CPI-M had conspired to stall the elections, Banerjee said, "When their plan fizzled out they are shouting about terror. People are not with them."

 

On allegations of improper deployment of central forces for the polls, Governor M K Narayanan said, "Centre has given the forces. They are quite generous. It is quite important to ensure safety and security of the people and instill a sense of confidence. I hope the forces will be deployed.

 

"The first phase was well, the second was not so well," he said.

 

On the ongoing third and the next two phases he said, "Let us see."

 

In the second phase of the elections three persons had been killed in Burdwan district.

 

The CPI-M, which had threatened to organise sit-in demonstrations and road blockades if violence occurred in rural Bengal, blocked roads at various places in and around the metropolis.

"In several areas, the people are not allowed to vote freely. Hundreds of Trinamool Congress goons have come from East Midnapore district and are now on the roads of North and South 24-Pargans district to stop people from voting," alleged Nepal Deb Bhattacharjee, CPI-M state committee member.

CPI-M supporters blocked important roads in Naihati, Shyamnagar and B T Road crossing.

Reports from North 24 Parganas district said the CPI-M organised road blockades at BT Road in Sodepur and Ghorpara Road in Naihati alleging that the Panchayat elections are not being held in a free and fair manner.

Party activists also stopped local trains at Shyamnagar railway station.

Image: Reuters

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