Four people were shot dead in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district in a clash with security forces outside a polling booth during the fourth phase of state elections on Saturday.
After the incident, the Election Commission has adjourned the polling at booth 126, Jorpatki in Sitalkuchi Assembly Constituency, Cooch Bahar. The election body has sought a detailed report on the violence by 5 pm.
According to reports, the violence unfolded at the polling booth when a youth who voted in Sitalkuchi constituency went home saying that he was unwell. This is when rumours were spread that he was manhandled by the security forces and soon after locals gathered around then tried to snatch weapons from them. That is when the CISF opened fire at the voters in which four of them died.
However, when asked from the families of people killed, they alleged that the central forces opened fire at those voters who refused to vote for the BJP.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to the deaths at a rally in Bengal. He said, What happened in Cooch Behar is sad, I offer condolences to bereaved families. Further attacking Bengal Chief Mamata Banerjee, he said Mamata Didi and her goons are jittery because of the groundswell of support for the BJP.
On the other hand, Banerjee demanded the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, saying that the BJP knows it won’t win so it’s resorting to bombs and violence. She went on to say that BSF and CISF are torturing people in villages. Women, boys, and girls are being threatened that they should vote for BJP. They have gone and shot people standing in line to vote. Who has given them this courage? So many people were not killed during the panchayat elections. In the state election, 20 people have been killed, and 13 of them from our party, she added.
Blaming the BJP, Trinamool Congress leaders have alleged that five of its party supporters were killed. Reacting to the recent incident, TMC MP Saugata Roy said this is part of the conspiracy. Why did the Central Armed Police Forces fire? Where do they get this audacity of firing on common voters? That is the main question. This is a part of a conspiracy and we do not think that the PM is out of this conspiracy. This is an effort to intimidate voters, she said.
However, the Central Reserve Police Force has clarified that in the killing of 4 civilians, CRPF was not involved in the incident in any way as it was not deployed at the said booth.
Meanwhile, phase 4 of the eight-phased state Assembly election began at 7 am for 44 seats in West Bengal. So far, 52.89% voter turnout recorded as per data updated till 1:30 pm.