WB Panchayat Polls: Violence, Killings, Knifings, Bombing, Tear Gas, 10 Dead

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Kolkata: Over 41.51 per cent polling was recorded till 1 pm in the West Bengal panchayat polls that was marked by sporadic incidents of violence in which several people were injured on Monday.

At least ten people have been killed in poll-related violence even as voting continues in West Bengal panchayat election.

A CPM worker and his wife were killed in 24 South Parganas when suspected Trinamool Congress supporters set their house on fire.

In North 24 Parganas, another CPM worker was killed in a blast during clashes while two others were injured. A Trinamool Congress supporter died after being shot in Kuktuli in South 24 Parganas district.

A BJP worker was killed in a bombing in Murshidabad. TMC minister Rabindranath Ghosh has been sent a showcause notice by the State Election Commission for slapping a BJP poll agent in Natabari.

Around 25% turnout was recorded till 11am. The much-awaited West Bengal panchayat polls began at 7am on Monday.

Senior minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said TMC workers were not involved in the incident and accused the BJP of terrorising the voters. In Burdwan district, opposition CPI(M) and BJP accused the TMC of terrorising voters and hurling bombs outside polling stations.

The TMC termed the allegations as baseless. In Birbhum, masked men carrying weapons and sticks were seen intimidating voters outside some of the booths. Television footage from Basanti block of South 24 Parganas district showed masked gunmen roaming outside polling stations.

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.

Despite heavy deployment of security forces, the state is in a tizzy to ascertain smooth conduction of the panchayat polls.

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