Six deaths were reported as violence escalated in the poll-bound districts of Malda,Murshidabad,Nadia and Birbhum in the fourth phase of panchayat elections Monday. Significantly,one person was killed when central forces fired at voters at Ratua in Malda.
Over 35 people including three children were also injured with many of them admitted to hospitals with bullet wounds.
The second and the third phase had recorded three and five killings,respectively. The first phase covering the Maoist-affected districts had passed off without a loss of life.
On Monday,nearly 110 people were arrested for disturbing the poll process,rioting and arson.
According to the State Election Commission (SEC),the polling was nearly 75 per cent till 5 pm.
In Malda district,a 55-year-old farmer,Abdul Mannan,was shot dead by the CRPF after voters,angry at a slow queue,threw stones at a polling booth at Sambalpur village in Ratua. The CRPF reportedly fired six rounds.
While the SEC has sought a report from the district authorities on the firing,the ruling Trinamool Congress has accused the central forces of indulging in excesses.
In the third phase,too,a 25-year-old voter was shot dead by central forces at Joynagar in South 24-Parganas.
A woman voter,Noorjahan Biwi,was killed in a bomb attack when clashes broke out between two rival parties at Beldanga in Murshidabad. It was an improvised socket bomb made with iron pipes,said the local police.
The bodies of two CPM supporters were recovered this morning from Basudevpur village in Mayureshwar area of Birbum district. Sources said the two were suspected to have been killed when bombs went off accidentally.
Another body was recovered from Raninagar in Murshidabad. The victim is suspected to have died of bomb splinter injuries.
Another CPM supporter was killed in a bomb explosion at Mayapur in Nadia district.
The police said all the four bodies have been sent for the post-mortem examination.
Three children were reportedly injured one of them is critical and admitted in Malda district.