Ratua (West Bengal) [India], May 16 (ANI): Brandishing a gun, unidentified miscreants, on Wednesday, escaped with a ballot box from polling booth no. 76 in Malda’s Ratua during the re-polling in the Panchayat elections.
This adds to the long list of violent incidents that have erupted in the ongoing polls in the state, with at least 12 people having lost their lives so far.
Earlier today, incidents of bombing and attacks with sharp weapons surfaced in Murshidabad, resulting in two Trinamool Congress workers sustaining injuries. Following the incident, allegations were levelled against the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM) for jointly attacking the TMC.
In Uttar Dinajpur district’s Goalpokhar, the police officials baton-charged on people, exercising a crowd-control measure, as they were agitating following delay in the voting process.
The Panchayat polls, which were held on Monday, May 14, had to be rescheduled in 568 election booths spread across 19 districts of the state by the State Election Commission for today as proceedings were marred by violence.
The booths, where re-polling is taking place, include 63 in Murshidabad, 52 in Coochbehar, 28 in West Midnapore and 10 in Hooghly among others.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also condemned the violence, terming it a ‘murder of democracy’.
Addressing the media party workers at BJP headquarters in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi said, “There is one more thing I want to talk about…the scenes from the Panchayat Elections in West Bengal. It was nothing but a murder of democracy. From the nomination stage to the day of polling, where was the spirit of democracy? People were bullied.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs also sought a report from the state government regarding incidents of violence during Panchayat Election in the state. (ANI)