Tiarul Kalam, a 56-year-old voter, was hacked to death this morning in a Congress-Trinamool clash outside a polling station in Bengal's Murshidabad constituency. Four people have been arrested for the murder.
A construction labourer, Tiarul Kalam had gone to vote with his 18-year old son -- a first-time voter -- when the clash broke out. The son saw his father being hacked with a 'pachli' -- a sharp, curved knife -- and his guts spill out.
He picked up his father and ran. What followed was worse.
"Even as I ran, they were trying to stab me and my father. I fell down. The attackers were our neighbours who support the Trinamool. My father's liver spilled out. I tied a towel around him. We got him into a vehicle to get him to hospital. Even then, the Trinamool men were trying to stab me," said the distraught youth, who was working in Kerala and had returned home to cast his vote.
According to Tiarul Kalam's brother Azuddin Sheikh, who was also on the spot, they were standing in a queue to vote when a row erupted between the Congress and Trinamool supporters. Aizuddin left the poll station, asking Tiarul to leave too. But before he could, he was attacked.
"Tiarul was not associated with any political party," Aizuddin Sheikh said.
Describing how the trouble started, he said a couple had come to vote and were approached by both Trinamool and the Congress workers.
"TMC supporters asked them to vote for the TMC, Congress supporters told them vote for Congress. An argument broke out, people started pushing each other and then the knives came out," Aizuddin Sheikh said.
When Tiarul Kalam reached hospital, he was alive but in a critical condition. He died a short while later.
According to reports quoting eyewitnesses, when the violence started, the police and central forces in the poll station had slipped indoors as voters fled and some people tried to drag the injured to safety.
The Trinamool candidate from Murshidabad, Abu Taher, said Tiarul Kalam was killed in a factional fight within the Congress.
The Congress said it would file a complaint with the Election Commission, which has already taken note of the incident and ordered an investigation.
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