Five killed in Sitalkuchi in two incidents in 4th phase of poll : WB CEO

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Kolkata, Apr 10 (PTI) Five persons were killed in two different incidents of firing in Sitalkuchi assembly constituency in West Bengals Cooch Behar district during the fourth phase of poll on Saturday, state chief electoral officer Ariz Aftab said.

He said at least eight persons have been arrested so far in connection with two incidents which took place in separate polling stations at Sitalkuchi during the day, he said.

Aftab said that quick detailed reports on both the incidents of firing have been sought from the district magistrate and superintendent of police of Cooch Behar.

The CEO, however, described the polling in the 44 assembly seats on Saturday as more or less peaceful apart from the two or three incidents.

On the violence in Sitalkuchi on the polling day, Aftab said 'There was some commotion between two groups outside polling booth number 126 at Jorpatki in Sitalkuchi assembly constituency under Mathabhanga police station at around 9.45 am. Following this a quick response team of the CAPF rushed to the place and there was firing in which four persons were killed and some others were injured.

We have sought detailed reports from the DM and SP concerned. We will be able to get the complete picture once the detailed reports reach us,' Aftab told reporters.

To queries about the justification of the firing, the CEO said, 'Generally a magisterial inquiry is carried out to look into the questions of justification of firing. All the evidence is being examined.' On the poll violence at Pathantuli in the same constituency, where a youth was shot dead by unidentified persons on Saturday morning, he said that two persons have been detained and raids are on to nab others.

'One Anand Barman was shot at by unknown miscreants when he was returning home. He was declared brought dead when he was rushed to the nearby hospital. The additional superintendent of police has gone to the place and two persons have been detained,' he said.

On the heckling BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee and vandalising of a few vehicles at Chunchura in Hoogly district during the poll on Saturday, the CEO said six persons have been arrested in connection with it.

The CEO had received a total of 2,371 complaints on Saturday, the highest in the four phases of polling held in West Bengal, he added.

Polling was held in nine assembly constituencies in Howrah, 11 in South 24 Parganas , five in Alipurduar , nine in Coochbehar and ten in Hooghly district from 7AM to 6.30PM amid full COVID-19 precautions in 15,940 polling stations on Saturday.

Four more phases of election will be held in the state this month for polling in the rest of the 162 assembly constituencies in the state. The results will be declared on May 2. PTI SCH KK KK KK