After a CPI (M) worker and his wife were allegedly burnt to death by Trinamool Congress activists in North 24 Parganas, the party in a letter to the State Election Commissioner has called for immediate intervention in the West Bengal panchayat elections. Accusing the state polling body of failing to conduct free and fair elections, the letter read, “The District Election Officer is a mute spectator of the festival of butchering the democracy and a large section of police administration are directly or indirectly shielding the armed goons.”
Debu Das, a CPM worker and his wife, were charred to death after a few TMC activists allegedly burnt their house late Sunday night. In his letter, Samik Lahiri, CPI(M) secretary, South 24 Paraganas, alleged that Das had been threatened by TMC candidate Amit Mondol and his associates Shibaprasad Mondal, Chandan Giri, Sk Monirul, Gokul Jana among others. “I don’t know how many more lives are required to convince the EC, West Bengal, that the law and order of the state is completely collapsed,” the letter read, asking the commissioner to direct the District Administration to act immediately. “I again urge upon you to discharge your constitutional obligations bestowed upon your office,” Lahiri said in the letter.
— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
Violence was reported from multiple parts of the state after polling for the single-phase panchayat elections started on Monday. In less than two hours, the State Election Commission had received complaints of violence from North 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Cooch Behar and South 24 Parganas districts. Clashes were reported in Burdwan districts as well. The opposition CPI(M) and BJP had accused the TMC of terrorising voters and hurling bombs outside polling stations. The TMC has termed the allegations as baseless.
One person was also reportedly killed and three others injured in South Dinajpur district’s Tapan area after a bomb was hurled outside a polling station. “We have received a report that four persons were injured. Out of them, one has died. The district police superintendent is yet to confirm the death,” an SEC official was quoted as saying by PTI