Polling Adjourned at WB Booth after Four Killed in Firing by Central Forces


Polling has been stopped at polling station number 126 of Sitalkuchi Assembly Constituency, Cooch Behar. — ANI photo

Mamata says she was apprehending this, asks Amit Shah to explain loss of innocent lives

Clarion India

NEW DELHI — The Election Commission on Saturday adjourned polling at Polling Booth 126 of Sitalkurchi Assembly Constituency, Cooch Behar district in West Bengal where four people were killed reportedly in firing by Central Forces.

The poll panel’s move followed the reports submitted by Special Observers.

“The Commission hereby orders adjourning the poll in PS 126 of Sitalkurchi AC, Cooch Behar based on interim report from Special Observers. Detailed reports are sought from them and CEO by 5 p.m. today,” an EC official told IANS.

According to sources, the incident took place at the polling booth in Sitalkuchi at around 10 a.m. when a Quick Response Team (QRT) was allegedly attacked by unidentified people.

Preliminary report says, there was tension at booth No. 126 at Amtali in Jor Patki village in Sitalkuchi since morning. As there was an unruly mob of over 400 people in front of the booth, the central forces tried to disperse it.

The ever increasing mob reportedly tried to snatch firearms from the security forces. This prompted the force to open fire in which four people were killed. The force claimed that it had to open fire in self-defence.

However, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and its supremo Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rejected the claim.

Saying that she had long apprehended such a situation after watching the “high handedness” of central forces for long, Banerjee said “after killing so many people they (Election Commission) are saying the firing was in self-defence. They should feel ashamed. This is a lie.”

Speaking at a public meeting, Banerjee asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to explain why the innocent lives were lost in Coochbehar firing. She also demanded the resignation of Home Minister.

TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Dola Sen asked the Election Commission to come clean on the incident. She said, “We are sad to say with deep concern that firing by central forces has left four dead and four injured at Mathabhanga. We also want to say that the central forces are committing crimes and crossing all limits. The EC should come out with an explanation.”

Reacting to the incidenta at the polling booth, TMC MP, Saugata Roy said, “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.”

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