Published On: Fri, Jun 16th, 2023

West Bengal panchayat poll violence: Death toll rises to 5

Kolkata: With two more deaths being reported in the past 12 hours, the total fatalities in the Bengal panchayat poll-related violence rose to five on Friday.

One AISF candidate and one Trinamool Congress activist was killed in inter-party clashes

Late on Thursday night, Trinamool Congress`s local area secretary Mohammel Haque was killed in Nabagram in Murshidabad district of the state. Confirming the incident, the district police superintendent of Murshidabad Surinder Singh said that the police have started investigation in the matter.

Amid heightened tension in Nabagram, a huge police contingent has been deployed. Besides, an All India Secular Front (AISF) activist Selim Mollah, who had suffered bullet injuries following day-long nomination-related clashes at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district on Thursday, the last day for filing nominations, succumbed to his injuries on Thursday night.

Earlier in the day, one AISF candidate and one Trinamool Congress activist was killed in inter-party clashes during the nomination phase on Thursday at Bhangar. The same morning, a CPI(M) candidate was shot dead at Chopra in North Dinajpur district while he was going to the local block development office to file his nomination.

The series of nomination-related deaths started on June 9, which was the first day of nomination, when a Congress activist was shot dead at Khargram in Murshidabad district.

Political observers are of the opinion that although panchayat elections had traditionally been marred by massive violence and bloodbath since 2013, never ever before so many deaths have been witnessed during the nomination phase.

They feel that this time the early violence is because unlike 2013 and 2018 which was basically a one-sided supremacy by the ruling party, this time there had been a massive counter- retaliation from the opponent parties as well.

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