At least four people, including an 18-year-old first-time voter, were killed at two different election booths in Cooch Behar, West Bengal, according to state police. The other three died after officials of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) open-fired in a polling booth in “self-defence”.
The two incidents took place in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi assembly constituency as the state votes in the fourth phase of the assembly elections.
The two incidents sparked a political blame-game between TMC and BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for instigating people against central forces. Mamata on her part said that the forces were under Home Minister Amit Shah, who was conspiring to kill people.
According to the police, at polling booth 126, at least three people were killed after CISF personnel open-fired after they were attacked.
“CISF was in charge there (at the booth). Quick response team (QRT) of CISF reached the booth from where reports of clashes were coming. A group of anti-socials was obstructing the voters to enter the booth. When the CISF reached the spot, hundreds of men gathered and they attacked the force, they tried to snatch weapons. The forces fired in self defence,” a top police official told.
Meanwhile, at polling booth 285, Anand Burman, 18, was shot dead by two miscreants on a bike when he was standing in the queue to case his vote along with his father.