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West Bengal Panchayat elections repoll LIVE: Police lathicharge as voters protest delay in poll process

West Bengal Panchayat elections LIVE: The SEC decision comes after a post-poll scrutiny of reports of political violence that marred the polling across the state. The counting of votes will be held on May 17.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 16, 2018 2:25:21 pm
West Bengal Panchayat elections: Re-polling underway at 568 booths after SEC order West Bengal Panchayat elections: The counting of votes will be held on May 17. (ANI photo)

Two days after violence during West Bengal Panchayat elections claimed 14 lives in the state, re-polling at 568 booths in 19 districts began amid tight security on Wednesday. West Bengal state Election Commission (SEC) ordered re-polling on Tuesday following demands by Opposition parties. The SEC decision comes after a post-poll scrutiny of reports of political violence that marred the polling across the state. The counting of votes will be held on May 17.

“The repolling started at 7 am in the morning and will end at 5 pm. The counting will take place tomorrow (on May 17),” an SEC official said. An SEC officer said re-polling would be held at booths where alleged rigging, ballot box looting and false voting were reported. “We have directed the district administrations to make preparations for the re-polling.”

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West Bengal Panchayat elections: Re-polling begins amid tight security at 568 booths, follow LIVE updates

14:25 (IST) 16 May 2018

On Monday, areas where violence took place in Bhangar Monday are under Arabul’s panchayat samiti: Uttar Ghazipur and Ghazipur. The other areas that fall under his samiti – Machibhanga and Padmapukur – are controlled by JJPOBRC. Clashes began in Uttar Ghazipur booths 100 and 102, in Uttar Ghazipur Jamadarpukur Prathmik Vidyalaya, the area’s primary school, which was allegedly “captured” by TMC men. The booths were vandalised, as was the vehicle of a local TV channel.

13:45 (IST) 16 May 2018
13:39 (IST) 16 May 2018

“Ballot boxes were found in ponds. A large number of innocent workers were killed. It is not that only BJP workers were killed, but everyone, excluding the ruling party, had to suffer. Whatever happened there against the democracy, that is a matter of serious concern,” Modi said.

13:20 (IST) 16 May 2018

Addressing BJP workers at the party headquarters, he said, “There is another incident for which the country needs to think seriously: the scenes from the panchayat elections in West Bengal. It was nothing but a murder of democracy.”

13:14 (IST) 16 May 2018
West Bengal panchayat election violence a murder of democracy: PM Modi

Referring to violence during West Bengal panchayat polls, Prime Minister  Narendra Modi on Tuesday said all political parties, barring the ruling TMC, had suffered in the state and a large number of innocent workers had been killed. Modi called the violence “murder of democracy”.

12:53 (IST) 16 May 2018

Putatunda further said that the court had asked him to submit a detailed report on the panchayat poll violence in the form of a petition. “We will file the petition soon. Right now we are compiling reports on the violence,” he added.

12:53 (IST) 16 May 2018

“The court had asked the state government to ensure a free, fair and peaceful election. However, we have seen that more than 15 people were killed yesterday. The state government had said there would be no violence during the election but exactly the opposite has happened. So it means that it had misled the court. We have prayed before the court that it should look into this,” the PDS leader said.

12:52 (IST) 16 May 2018
Party of Democratic Socialism moves Calcutta High Court

On Tuesday, the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) moved the Calcutta High Court over the violence that occurred during Monday’s panchayat elections. Samir Putatunda, PDS general secretary, told The Indian Express that they moved the division bench of the chief justice of Calcutta High Court, adding that the state government had failed to honour the earlier court order.

12:42 (IST) 16 May 2018

Reports said the situation remained tense in Howrah, Nadia, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas districts.

12:42 (IST) 16 May 2018
Opposition blames TMC for violence

Opposition parties blamed the TMC for the violence and accused it of destroying democracy. The TMC denied the allegations and accused opposition parties of ganging up with Maoists to attack Trinamool workers to create disturbance in the state.

12:38 (IST) 16 May 2018
Unidentified attackers killed former panchayat member in Nadia

In Nadia, unidentified attackers killed former panchayat member Pranab Biswas in Baranberia village. Sources said masked attackers barged into Biswas’s house and stabbed him multiple times. They hurled bombs to scare people away before fleeing. Biswas was declared dead at Ranaghat subdivisional hospital. “Biswas was attacked late yesterday (Monday) night… We have received a complaint and have initiated a probe into the case,” said an official.

12:38 (IST) 16 May 2018
Local CPM leaders claims dead were their supporters

A local CPM leader said, 'Local TMC leaders claimed the dead were their party’s supporter and accused CPM of murdering them. The CPM denied the allegations. “The CPM is not involved in any such incident.” 

12:37 (IST) 16 May 2018
'Two TMC supporters were missing from polling area'

The body of one Sabir Ali Sheikh, 27, was recovered from South 24 Parganas district’s Joynagar area. Shiekh’s body was recovered from a field near a polling booth after a clash forced cancellation of polling at Joynagar. Sources said two ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters were missing from the area.

12:36 (IST) 16 May 2018
Body recovered with multiple injuries

“A (Ali)’s body was recovered today (Tuesday) with multiple injuries. We have received a complaint from the deceased’s relatives. We are conducting raids to trace the accused,’’ said an official.

12:36 (IST) 16 May 2018

Police sources said 23-year-old Subid Ali’s body was recovered from an isolated area at Kultuli in South 24 Parganas district. He was beaten up and left to die after a clash between two groups during the polling on Monday.

12:36 (IST) 16 May 2018
Three more bodies recovered

Three more bodies were recovered in separate parts of the state on Tuesday, a day after violence during panchayat polls left at least 14 people dead and several injured across the state. 

12:30 (IST) 16 May 2018

The rural polls were held after a protracted legal battle in the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court involving the State Election Commission, the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition parties.

12:27 (IST) 16 May 2018

Several non-political organisations held sit-ins outside the SEC office on Tuesday in protest against the violence on the polling day.

12:18 (IST) 16 May 2018

Opposition parties had accused the TMC of "unleashing a reign of terror and destroying democracy". The TMC, however, termed the allegations as "baseless".

12:13 (IST) 16 May 2018

Aggrieved by the violence that marked the panchayat poll in West Bengal which claimed at least 14 lives and left 43 injured, several candidates including the Independent ones, who were in the fray had met the SEC officials and demanded the repolling. 

12:12 (IST) 16 May 2018

The repolling started at 7 am in the morning and will end at 5 pm. The counting of votes will take place tomorrow.

12:10 (IST) 16 May 2018

The SEC officials said, "The state government and the police have been asked to make elaborate security arrangements so that the repolling is held in a free and fair manner."

12:04 (IST) 16 May 2018

Unidentified miscreants escape with a ballot box from polling booth no. 76 in Malda's Ratua. Some people were brandishing guns as well. (ANI photo)

11:54 (IST) 16 May 2018

Several candidates had met SEC officials and demanded re-polling in their booths. “I have come here to inform the SEC about violence in my locality. Free and fair election did not take place,” said Etajul, an Independent candidate from Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district. Candidates from political parties also met the SEC officials to request repolling in their seats. Read more

11:53 (IST) 16 May 2018

The re-polling is being held at 73 booths in North Dinajpur district, 63 in Murshidabad, 60 in Nadia, 59 in North 24 Parganas, 55 in Malda and 52 in Cooch Behar. In South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore and South Dinajpur districts, re-polling will be held at 26, 23 and 35 booths, respectively. There will be no re-polling in Jhargram district. 

11:41 (IST) 16 May 2018
SEC carefully examined reports before ordering, says officials

The SEC decision comes after a post-poll scrutiny of reports of political violence that marred the polling across the state. Officials said the SEC carefully examined the reports before deciding that re-polling should be held at 568 booths.

11:41 (IST) 16 May 2018
Opposition parties had demanded re-polling

The West Bengal state Election Commission (SEC) on Tuesday ordered re-polling at 568 panchayat polling booths across 19 districts in the state. Opposition parties had demanded re-polling at over 500 booths following the deaths of at least 14 people in violence during the polls on Monday.

11:26 (IST) 16 May 2018

Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the police baton, charged on people in Uttar Dinajpur district's Goalpokhar as a crowd-control measure after the people agitated when the voting process for Panchayat Election re-polling started late in booth no- 36/37.

11:24 (IST) 16 May 2018
Police baton charged on people in Uttar Dinajpur district
11:20 (IST) 16 May 2018

Voters queue up outside booth no. 28 in Cooch Behar to cast their vote.

11:16 (IST) 16 May 2018

Voters queue up outside booth no. 117 in Bagdah, North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal early this morning. 

11:03 (IST) 16 May 2018

Welcome to our Live blog. Re-polling at 568 booths across West Bengal is underway. The re-polling was ordered after political violence marred the polling on Monday and claimed 14 lives in the state. Follow to get the latest updates.

west bengal, west bengal panchayat elections, west bengal repolling, west bengal voting, west bengal voting today, Panchayat polls violence, West bengal violence, india news West Bengal Panchayat Elections: Opposition parties had demanded re-polling at over 500 booths following the deaths of at least 14 people in violence during the polls on Monday. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

The state government and the police have been asked to make elaborate security arrangements so that the repolling is held in a free and fair manner, they said. SEC sources said the re-polling would be held at 73 booths in North Dinajpur district, 63 in Murshidabad, 60 in Nadia, 59 in North 24 Parganas, 55 in Malda and 52 in Cooch Behar. In South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore and South Dinajpur districts, re-polling will be held at 26, 23 and 35 booths, respectively. There will be no re-polling in Jhargram district.

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