West Bengal Assembly elections: First-time voter shot dead outside polling booth



SITALKUCHI: A first-time voter was shot dead by unidentified persons outside a polling booth in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district on Saturday, police said.

The Trinamool Congress alleged that the BJP was behind the killing, while the saffron party claimed that the deceased was its polling agent at the booth and pointed the accusing finger at the ruling party in the state.

The youth, identified as Anand Burman, was dragged outside polling booth number 85 in Pathantuli area of Sitalkuchi while voting was underway and shot dead, a police officer said.

The incident triggered a clash between TMC and BJP supporters and several people were injured as bombs were lobbed outside the booth.

Central forces had to resort to lathi-charge to bring the situation under control, he said.

“We have received information that a person was shot dead outside a polling booth in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district. We have sought a report from the micro-observer as soon as possible and the returning officer was called up to know about the situation,” an election official said.

Police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in the area.

Incidentally, BJP state chief and MP Dilip Ghosh had come under attack from ‘TMC workers’ in Sitalkuchi area a few days back.

TMC leader and Natabari constituency candidate Rabindra Nath Ghosh alleged that the BJP workers were behind the killing.

“BJP goons are behind the killing. They were creating a nuisance here for several days as they are losing the elections and now, they are killing people,” he told PTI.

Dismissing Ghosh’s claim, Sitalkuchi’s BJP candidate Baren Chandra Barman said that the deceased person was the party’s polling agent at the booth and TMC activists were behind the murder.

“He was our polling agent and was going to the booth when TMC goons shot him dead. Rabindra Nath Ghosh’s claim is a total lie. We have informed the SP and the ECI about the incident, demanding immediate arrest of the culprits,” Barman said.

He also claimed that police or central forces were not present near the booth when the killing took place.

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