The Left Parties on Monday staged protest outside the State Election Commission against the incidents of violence, during ongoing panchayat elections in the state. Members of Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M], Revolutionary Socialist Party and other parties of the Left Front took part in the protest.
Talking to media, CPI-M leader Biman Bose said, "Election has turned into a commotion because no rules were followed. Police could not strengthen the security. That is why we have come here to speak to the Election Commission to find a solution."
The much-awaited West Bengal panchayat polls began at 7am on Monday. There are reports of violence from many parts of the state.
As many as 20 people were injured in fresh clashes, which broke out between two groups here in Cooch Behar. A Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker Arif Gazi was shot dead in Kultali area of West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district.
Meanwhile, five local journalists have also been injured during violence after booth capturing in West Bengal's Birpara town, allegedly by TMC workers.
Earlier in the day, ballot papers were thrown in a pond after a fresh clash that broke out between TMC and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal's Murshidabad town following which the voting had been stopped for now.
Clashes were also reported between BJP and Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) workers in Durgapur.
A BJP supporter was slapped by Ghosh at Cooch Behar's booth no. 8/12 in the presence of police. On the other hand, a TMC worker, Anarul Mita, suffered bullet injuries in an attack in Cooch Behar's Dinhata on late Sunday night, after which he was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition.
The victim has alleged that BJP workers are behind the attack.
On a related note, the voting, which began at 7 a.m. on Monday morning, will continue till 5 p.m. in 621 Zilla Parishads, 6157 panchayat samitis, and 31,827 gram panchayats.
The counting will take place on May 17.