- Five dead, scores injured in West Bengal panchayat poll violence
KOLKATA: At least 14 people have died and scores were injured in panchayat election violence in West Bengal on Monday that has prompted the Union Home ministry to seek a report from the state government. Some 72.5 per cent votes were polled across the state till the end of polling at 5 pm.
Of the 14 dead, 5 were CPM supporters, 4 were TMC workers, 2 BJP and 2 independent candidate supporters and one was a voter.
The deaths were reported from eight of the 20 districts that went to an election on Monday. Reports of rigging and vandalisation of ballot boxes were reported from several districts.
7: 30 pm- Alleging widespread violence and deaths during the West Bengal panchayat polls today, a lawyer showed videos to the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and prayed for summoning the State Election Commissioner (SEC) and the state home secretary to ensure a peaceful election. (PTI)
7: 15 pm- 12 people died, identity of 6 more yet to be ascertained. 3 police personnel also injured. Last yr 25 people were killed in the election. Security has been taken care of. We hope rest of the election will pass peacefully: Surajit Kar Purkayastha,West Bengal DGP. (ANI)
5: 50 pm-
5: 00 pm- Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the West Bengal Government regarding incidents of violence.
4: 15 pm-
West Bengal: Members of CPI(M), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) & other parties of the Left Front staging protest outside State Election Commission againt the incidents of violence during the #PanchayatElection pic.twitter.com/Cr5vtgVHSM— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
4: 00 pm- Election has turned into a commotion because no rules were followed. Police could not strengthen the security. That is why we have come here to speak to the Election Commission to find a solution: CPI(M) leader Biman Bose. (ANI)
3: 30 pm- Overall 56% polling recorded till 3 pm in the West Bengal Panchayat Election.
3: 04 pm- Congress protest outside the West Bengal State Election Commission office in Kolkata. (ANI)
3: 00 pm- Ballot boxes looted at gunpoint by unidentified people at 44, 45 and 45K booths in Murshidabad. (ANI)
2: 50 pm-41.51 per cent voter turnout till 1 pm in West Bengal. (ANI) READ MORE
2: 45 pm-
2: 30 pm-Clashes break out between TMC and Congress supporters in Murshidabad. (ANI)
1:40 pm -
The Election Commission of West Bengal must act to restore faith in the process. Else it will be seen as complicit in TMC's project of destroying democracy. Allowing TMC to get away with throttling democracy has implications well beyond West Bengal. pic.twitter.com/F6vHJbiqun— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) May 14, 2018
1:35 pm - CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the West Bengal State Election Commission will be seen as complicit in the ruling Trinamool Congress' project of destroying democracy if it does not act to restore faith in the electoral process.
1:30 pm -
1:10 pm - There are minor incidents taking place, no major incidents have been reported. The administration is active in places where such clashes have taken place. Voting is being conducted peacefully. I strongly condemn the attack on journalists, says Partha Chatterjee, TMC.
12:50 pm - Not surprised by all the incidents that are happening since morning. Bengal government is a shameless government. You cannot expect them to follow any kind of constitutional behaviour. I demand President's Rule in West Bengal, says Babul Supriyo, Union Minister.
12:40 pm - The five dead include a CPM worker and his wife who were burnt to death, hours before polling even began.
12:31 pm - So far, five people have been reported dead and scores injured in various incidents of violence related to the West Bengal panchayat polls. [READ FULL REPORT]
12:15 pm - 26 per cent voter turnout till 11 am in West Bengal.
12:10 pm - Five local journalists were injured during the violence following booth capturing in Birpara, allegedly by TMC workers.
11:55 am - A TMC worker named Arif Gazi was shot dead in Kultali area of South 24 Parganas district.
11:30 am - At least 20 people have been injured after a crude bomb explosion in Amdanga's Sadhanpur in North 24 Parganas.
11:20 am - BJP agent was trying to run away with ballot box, officers caught hold of him but people said let him go. I just drove people away using my hand, that's all. TMC hasn't attacked anyone, says West Bengal Minister Rabindra Nath Ghosh who was caught on cam slapping a BJP supporter.
11:10 am - Over 11 per cent polling recorded till 9 am.
10:45 am - Ballot papers were thrown in a pond after a clash that broke out between TMC and BJP in Murshidabad. Voting has been stopped there.
10:20 am - BJP supporter in Bilkanda severely injured after being attacked with a knife, allegedly by TMC workers. He is currently undergoing treatment.
10:05 am -
#WATCH: On being identified, BJP supporter Sujit Kumar Das, was slapped by #WestBengal Minister Rabindra Nath Ghosh (in purple kurta) at Cooch Behar's booth no. 8/12 in presence of Police. #PanchayatElection pic.twitter.com/9S2gyAoNQt— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
9:30 am - Violence was reported in Burdwan districts too.
9:25 am -
9:15 am - Senior minister Jyotipriyo Mullick denied the involvement of the TMC in the incident and accused BJP of terrorising the voters.
9:10 am - The opposition CPI(M) and BJP had accused the TMC of terrorising voters and hurling bombs outside polling stations. But, the TMC has termed the allegations as baseless.
9: 05 am - In North 24 Parganas, the BJP accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of letting loose a reign of terror in several parts of the district, especially in Amdanga area. A few people were injured when clashes broke out between two groups, SEC sources said.
9:02 am - In Dinhata area of Coochbehar district in North Bengal, a few voters were injured after clashes broke out between two groups outside a polling station, SEC sources said. The voters, later on, lodged a police complaint.
9:00 am - Violence broke out in North 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Coochbehar and South 24 Parganas districts.
8:30 am - Considering the history of violence in the state panchayat polls, elaborate security arrangements have been made to maintain law and order during the polling.
8:00 am - The voting will continue till 5 p.m. in 621 zilla parishads, 6157 panchayat samitis, and 31,827 gram panchayats. The counting will take place on May 17.
7:30 am - The much-awaited West Bengal panchayat polls began at 7 am.
(With inputs from agencies)