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Bengal polls 2021: Mamata Banerjee appeals for calm, alleges CISF opened fire on voters

The chief minister speaking at at a public meeting here, asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to explain why five lives were lost in central forces' firing in Sitalkuchi in Coochbehar district during fourth phase of polling.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Kolkata Updated on: April 10, 2021 14:11 IST
Bengal polls 2021: Mamata Banerjee appeals for calm,
Image Source : PTI

Bengal polls 2021: Mamata Banerjee appeals for calm, alleges CRPF opened fire on voters

Appealing to people to remain calm, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged armed central police shot dead people standing in a queue to vote in Sitalkuchi.

The chief minister speaking at a public meeting, asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to explain why five lives were lost in central forces' firing in Sitalkuchi in Coochbehar district during the fourth phase of polling.

Claiming she had long apprehended such a situation after watching the "high handedness" of central forces for long, Banerjee said "after killing so many people they (Election Commission) are saying the firing was in self-defence. They should feel ashamed. This is a lie."

"The CISF opened fire on people standing in a queue to vote, killing 4 in Sitalkuchi. I have been apprehending that the forces'' would act in such manner for long. As BJP knows it has lost the people's mandate, they are conspiring to kill people," Banerjee charged.

She alleged this was part of a conspiracy hatched by the Union home minister.

"However, I would ask everyone to remain calm and cast their vote peacefully. Avenge the deaths by defeating them," she said.

Banerjee said that the death toll in this election was far higher than that in the Panchayat elections held three years ago. "If you count the total number of killings since the elections began some 17-18 persons were killed. At least 12 people belonged to our party alone."

Banerjee said the EC owed the people an explanation on today's incident.

"We are not in charge of the administration. The EC is in charge of administration," she pointed out.

"They have removed the senior IPS Surajit Kar Purakaystha. They have removed my OSD Ashok Chakraborty, who is a lower-ranked retired officer from RPF. Yet the EC bringing in retired officers to oversee polls here," she said. 

Meanwhile, the Election Commission (EC) has ordered adjournment of polls at polling station number 126 in the Sitalkuchi Assembly constituency of West Bengal amid reports of violence. A spokesperson of the poll panel said the decision was based on an interim report filed by special observers. Detailed reports have been sought from them and the state Chief Electoral Officer by 5 pm.

"According to preliminary reports, four persons were killed as CISF personnel opened fire after coming under attack in a village," he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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