Panchayat Polls in West Bengal

Assam’s Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, announced on July 11 that 133 individuals, who were concerned for their safety, sought refuge in Assam’s Dhubri district amidst the violence that occurred during the panchayat polls in West Bengal. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma shared in a tweet, “Yesterday, 133 individuals who feared for their lives due to violence in the panchayat election in West Bengal sought refuge in Dhubri District of Assam. We have provided them shelter in a relief camp, food, and medical assistance.” The affected people have currently found shelter at Ronpagli MV School in the Jhapusabari area of Dhubri district.

Panchayat Polls in West Bengal
Panchayat Polls

Panchayat Polls in West Bengal

Regarding the violent incidents during the panchayat polls, the West Bengal State Election Commission reported that the police confirmed 10 deaths on July 8. The violence erupted in various parts of West Bengal on the day of the Panchayat Polls. The commission stated, “Police have confirmed 10 deaths in poll-related violence.”

On July 9, Union Minister Nishith Pramanik strongly criticized the Mamata Banerjee Government for the widespread violence during the panchayat elections in West Bengal. He expressed that the single-phased polls were not a celebration of democracy but rather a festival of death.

The panchayat polls held in West Bengal on July 8 were marred by multiple incidents of violence, raising concerns about the overall conduct of the elections. One unfortunate incident occurred at the Phul Malancha polling booth in South 24 Pargana district, where an individual sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a crude explosive. The person’s death has not yet been officially confirmed by doctors, but the explosive had hit the victim’s head, and they were subsequently admitted to Basanti rural hospital in the South 24 Parganas district. Dibakar Das, the SDPO, provided this information.

Tragically, the violence surrounding the panchayat elections in West Bengal has resulted in a total of 17 deaths and hundreds of injuries. These targeted political assassinations, carried out by individuals associated with the ruling party, have created an atmosphere of fear and insecurity throughout the state.

The deployment of Central Forces during the panchayat polls in West Bengal played a crucial role in preventing an even higher number of fatalities. However, despite their presence, the violence remained prevalent, particularly in districts like Murshidabad. In the Kapasdanga area of Murshidabad, Babar Ali, a worker of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), was killed. He was declared dead upon arrival at Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital in Baharampur.

Panchayat Polls in West Bengal

The incidents of violence continued in various parts of the state. In Rejinagar, Murshidabad district, a TMC worker lost his life in a crude bomb blast on July 7. Another Trinamool worker was fatally stabbed in Khargram, also in the same district. Rajibul Hoque, a worker from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Ausgram, East Burdwan district, succumbed to his injuries at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata. He had been shot and was brought to the hospital from Okrabari village in Cooch Behar district.

Reports emerged from multiple districts, including Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Malda, South 24 Parganas, North Dinajpur, and Nadia, indicating instances of booth capturing, damage to ballot boxes, and assaults on presiding officers. These incidents are reminiscent of the previous panchayat elections in 2018 when the TMC won a significant number of seats uncontested (around 34 percent) and secured 90 percent of the remaining seats amid allegations of violence. The recurrence of booth capturing and ballot box burning suggests a continuation of such practices by the ruling party.
असम के मुख्यमंत्री हिमंत बिस्वा सरमा ने 11 जुलाई को घोषणा की कि पश्चिम बंगाल में पंचायत चुनावों के दौरान हुई हिंसा के बीच 133 व्यक्तियों ने, जो अपनी सुरक्षा को लेकर चिंतित थे, असम के धुबरी जिले में शरण मांगी थी। मुख्यमंत्री हिमंत बिस्वा सरमा ने एक ट्वीट में साझा किया, “कल, पश्चिम बंगाल में पंचायत चुनाव में हिंसा के कारण अपनी जान के डर से 133 व्यक्तियों ने असम के धुबरी जिले में शरण मांगी। हमने उन्हें एक राहत शिविर में आश्रय, भोजन, प्रदान किया है।” और चिकित्सा सहायता।” प्रभावित लोगों को फिलहाल धुबरी जिले के झापुसाबारी इलाके में रोनपागली एमवी स्कूल में आश्रय मिला है।
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