Two more die in poll-related violence, toll 52


TWO MORE deaths were reported on Saturday, taking the toll in political violence in West Bengal since June 8 to 52. Meanwhile, some TMC workers allegedly urinated on the face of a BJP polling agent after assaulting him. The incident took place in Paschim Medinipur district on Thursday night.

According to sources, the TMC allegedly abducted the BJP worker, Barun Ruidas, assaulted him and urinated on his face when he asked for water. The Trinamool Congress however denied all the allegations and said these were part of the opposition’s “well-constructed plan to malign the ruling party’s image.”

According to Ruidas, who was admitted to a local hospital on Friday, he was taken to a local TMC office by his “abductors”. A BJP delegation led by party leader Samit Das went to the hospital on Saturday morning to meet Ruidas.

Speaking to mediapersons outside the hospital, Das claimed, “TMC workers demanded money from our polling agent Barun Ruidas, who refused to pay them. Then he was abducted and taken to a party office where he was severely beaten up. When he asked for water, the inebriated TMC workers urinated on his face. We have filed a police complaint in the matter.”

TMC MLA and the party district coordinator in Paschim Medinipur, Ajit Maiti said, “The election in Garbeta area was peaceful. We had organised victory processions in a humble way to avoid any kind of tension. BJP is making up stories to create tension in the area. It is their pre-planned strategy to malign our party’s image. This is very unfortunate.”

According to a senior officer of Paschim Medinipur district police, a complaint has been lodged in this regard and investigation is on.

Meanwhile, the death toll in political violence in West Bengal since panchayat election notification on June 8, rose to 52 after two more deaths were reported.

A 61-year-old TMC worker, who was injured in a political clash at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district on the eve of the July 8 panchayat election, died on Saturday. The TMC blamed the Indian Secular Front (ISF) for the murder. The opposition party, however, denied the allegation.
Sources said Sheikh Moslem was seriously injured in an attack with rods at Bhangar on July 7 night, hours before polling in the panchayat elections were to begin. He succumbed to injuries at a private hospital in Kolkata.

TMC MLA from Canning Purba, Saukat Molla, alleged that Moslem was attacked “without any provocation.” “The ISF workers have unleashed a reign of terror in the Bhangar area. Another worker of our party has died today. This is the handiwork of the ISF,” said Molla.

ISF MLA Naushad Siddiqui however denied the allegation. “Our workers are not involved in any kind of violence. We demand a high-level probe,” said Siddiqui.

“Every death is unfortunate. This should not have taken place. Why should the panchayat election be marred by violence? Why would so many lives be lost during elections? with loss of lives in Bengal only?” Majumdar asked.

Meanwhile, one person was stabbed to death at Canning in South 24 Parganas district on Friday. The TMC claimed that he its supporter. The victim has been identified as Nantu Ghazi.


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