KOLKATA: Stressing that the Election Commission's integrity should never come into question, the Sanjukta Morcha - a three-party alliance of the Left, Congress and the ISF - on Monday sought to know what prompted the poll panel to support the CISF version of the Cooch Behar firing episode as no footage of the incident is yet available.
Four persons were killed and as many injured on Saturday in Sitalkuchi area of Cooch Behar when CISF personnel opened fire outside a polling booth, allegedly after coming under attack from locals who attempted to snatch their rifles, the police had said.
The Election Commission has given a clean chit to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) jawans and said that they had to open fire in self-defence.
Veteran CPI(M) leader Biman Bose, who led a delegation that met with Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab during the day, contended that the EC's decision was based on "hypothetical" reports presented by the district magistrate and the superintendent of police in Cooch Behar.
"Why is that nobody shot a video of the incident on a cell phone? Everyone, from the mediapersons to common people, is in possession of smartphones. The EC says the central forces were compelled to open fire. But the report of the DM and the SP is not clear," Bose said.
He also emphasised that the poll panel's integrity has always remained intact, and there should not be any scope to raise questions now".
Bose further said that the delegation, of which senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan was also a member, has urged the CEO to ensure that "no one gets to escape after making provocative speeches capable of triggering violence".
The EC should take action against BJP leader Dilip Ghosh who warned of more Sitalkuchi-like killings in Bengal in the next phase of assembly elections," he pointed out.
Ghosh had on Sunday courted a fresh controversy when he said more Cooch Behar-like killings may happen in the next phase of assembly elections if "naughty boys like the ones who died in Sitalkuchi" try to take the law into their hands.
The CPI(M) also claimed that the EC should have taken measures to stop campaigning in the neighbourhood of areas where polling was underway.
"There have been instances when the prime minister and the chief minister were seen addressing campaigns within 1-5 km radius of a constituency where polling was underway.
This can influence voters, this should immediately stop," he said.
Mannan, following his meeting with the CEO, said "people are losing faith in the poll panel".