West Bengal Polls: Election Commission stops polling at booth after four die in Cooch Behar firing
Four people were shot dead in Cooch Behar during the fourth phase of the West Bengal Assembly election. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) alleged that the four killed in the shooting incident were TMC workers.
According to reports, the TMC and BJP have pointed the finger at each other after gunshots were fired when party workers clashed in the Sitalkuchi constituency. Some reports claim that the CRPF troops reportedly had to resort to gunfire when they came under attack during the clash. However, the CRPF has clarified that none of its components were deployed at the said booth nor involved in the incident.
Reportedly, four people are also injured in the firing. The Election Commission has stopped polling at the Sitalkuchi booth and has sought a report on the incident.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the incident was “saddening” and offered sympathies to the victim’s families. “What happened in Cooch Behar is saddening. I condole those who died and my sympathies are with their families,” he said.
However, the Prime Minister allegedly blamed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her “goons” for the incident, claiming they are perturbed. “(Mamata) Didi and her goons are perturbed by seeing the people's support for BJP. She has stooped to this level as she can see her chair slipping away,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, the EC recently issued a notice to the West Bengal Chief Minister over her remarks on the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF). Mamata replied that “there has been no effort to incite/influence the electorate against CAPFs”. She made it clear that she hasn’t violated the Model Code of Conduct.
West Bengal is already witnessing an aggressive Assembly election with the TMC and the BJP going at each other. Both have made wild accusations against each other. There have been multiple reports that violence has taken place during polling.
In the fourth phase, voting is underway in 44 constituencies in five districts. As per reports, West Bengal has recorded nearly 34% voter turnout till 1 pm with Cooch Behar recording the highest with 42.92%.