This Article is From Apr 10, 2021

Election Commission Stops Voting In Sitalkuchi Seat In Bengal's Cooch Behar After 4 Dead In Clashes

West Bengal Assembly Polls: A spokesperson of the Election Commission said the decision was based on an interim report filed by special observers.

Election Commission Stops Voting In Sitalkuchi Seat In Bengal's Cooch Behar After 4 Dead In Clashes

Bengal Polls: Reports have been sought from them and the state Chief Electoral Officer by 5 pm today

New Delhi:

The Election Commission today ordered adjournment of polls at polling station number 126 in West Bengal's Sitalkuchi Assembly constituency in Cooch Behar district amid reports of violence.

A spokesperson of the Election Commission said the decision was based on an interim report filed by special observers. Detailed reports have been sought from them and the state Chief Electoral Officer by 5 pm this evening.

The decision of the poll panel comes after four people were shot and killed in a clash with security forces outside a polling booth. The clashes, which took place as 44 seats vote today in the fourth phase of state elections, have triggered a blame-game between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress.

The incident took place in the Sitalkuchi constituency when voting was going on, a senior district police officer told news agency Press Trust of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths at a rally in Bengal. But he also slammed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party soon after the incident. "What happened in Cooch Behar is sad... I offer condolences to bereaved families. Mamata Didi and her goons are jittery because of groundswell of support for the BJP."

Mamata Banerjee hit back at the central government as she demanded Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation. "The BJP knows it won't win so it's resorting to bombs and violence," she said.

"According to preliminary reports, four persons were shot as security personnel came under attack in a village," a senior district police officer told news agency Press Trust of India.

"They attempted to snatch their (security personnel) rifles", the police officer told news agency PTI.

The Election Commission has got a preliminary report from Vivek Dube, the special police observer for Bengal, which confirms firing by the central forces. Details of exact sequence of events are awaited.

(Inputs from PTI)