West Bengal Panchayat Elections repoll: Armed miscreants run away with ballot box amid tight security

16 May 2018, 04:43 PM
People ran away with ballot boxes from a polling booth in Malda district of West Bengal
People ran away with ballot boxes from a polling booth in Malda district of West Bengal

Unidentified people on Wednesday morning ran away with ballot boxes from a polling booth in Malda district of West Bengal, as repolling was in progress in 568 polling booths across West Bengal.

Various reports of violence were reported from some parts, with Rapid Action Force (RAF) and police personnel charging on the crowd.

As per a leading news agency, the incident took place in polling booth number 76 in Malda’s Ratua. The miscreants were armed with guns.

Repolling in 568 booths across West Bengal began today with tight security. The booths where repolling is happening are spread in all the 20 district of the state where the gram panchayat polls were held on Monday, SEC officials said.

More than 10 people were killed and over 50 were left injured on Monday after the violence during the rural polls.

The repolling has been ordered in 10 booths in Hooghly, 63 booths in Murshidabad, 59 booths in North 24 Parganas, 28 booths in West Midnapore, 52 booths in Coochbehar, 60 booths in Nadia, 55 booths in Malda, 73 booths in Uttar Dinajpur and 26 in South 24 Pargans among others, they added.

The state government and the police have been asked for extended security arrangements so that repolling is held in a free manner, the SEC officials said.

"The repolling started at 7 in the morning and will end at 5 pm. The counting will take place tomorrow (on May 17)," the SEC officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lashed at the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government over intense violence in the gram panchayat elections in West Bengal by saying "it was nothing but murder of democracy".

"People weren't allowed to file nominations. People from all parties except one ruling the state have suffered. Workers of these parties were killed. This is serious. A land as great as West Bengal had to see such things. It is unfortunate," Modi said.

"Where is the spirit of democracy?" Modi asked.

"It is not just about winning elections. All political parties, including civil society and judiciary, must play an active role to strengthen the democratic spirit," he added.

First Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 04:30 PM
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