At least 12 people were killed and several others injured in violence during the single phase panchayat elections in West Bengal, which recorded 72.5% voter turnout. The polling for electing 38,616 representatives across three tiers of state (rural) bodies that started at 7 a.m., continued till 5 p.m. According to the State Election Commission (SEC), 12.2 per cent votes were cast in the initial two hours of polling till 9 a.m.
Clashes between the supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition parties occurred in many parts of the state including North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur districts.
West Bengal panchayat elections: State election commission announces April 23 as extended date for nominations
More than 60,000 security personnel from West Bengal and neighbouring states were deployed for the panchayat polls.
West Bengal panchayat elections | As it happened
7:15 pm: 12 people died, identity of 6 more yet to be ascertained. 3 police personnel also injured. Last yr 25 people were killed in the election. Security has been taken care of. We hope rest of the election will pass peacefully: Surajit Kar Purkayastha,West Bengal DGP
7:00 pm: 72.5% polling recorded in West Bengal Panchayat polls
5:30 pm: A Home Ministry official said the state government has been told to provide a detailed report on the circumstances leading to the violence and the steps taken to restore peace and punish those involved in the violence.
5:15 pm: Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the West Bengal Government regarding incidents of violence during Panchayat Election in the state.
5:00 pm: Voting ends in Panchayat polls.
4:30 pm: 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: Biman Bose, CPI(M) on West Bengal Panchayat Election
4:18 pm: West Bengal: Members of CPI(M), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) & other parties of the Left Front staging protest outside State Election Commission againt the incidents of violence during the Panchayat Election
West Bengal: Members of CPI(M), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) & other parties of the Left Front staging protest outside State Election Commission againt the incidents of violence during the #PanchayatElection pic.twitter.com/Cr5vtgVHSM— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
3:43 pm: This is nothing but complete destruction of democracy. Election Commission not giving time to political representative. We are organizing a protest against it: Sitaram Yechury, CPI-M general secretary on incidents of violence during West Bengal Panchayat Election
3:35 pm: Total 10 killed in violence in panchayat polls till now
3:30 pm: 56% voter turnout recorded till 3 PM in West Bengal Panchayat polls
02:50 pm: In North Dinajpur district, three crude bombs were found near a polling booth at Galaisura, around three km from district headquarter Raiganj, police said. Of the three bombs, two were found on railway tracks, affecting movement of trains, RPF sources said, adding that the bomb squad has been informed.
02:35 pm: Four people were killed and several others injured in violence during the single phase panchayat elections in West Bengal, which recorded over 41 per cent polling till 1 pm. The four were killed in separate incidents of violence in North 24 Parganas, Nadia, South 24 Parganas and Murshidabad districts.
West Bengal: Ballot boxes looted at gunpoint by unidentified people at 44, 45 and 45K booths in Murshidabad. #PanchayatElection— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
02:20 pm: 41.51% voter turnout till 1 pm in West Bengal
01:09 pm: There are minor incidents taking place, no major incidents have been reported. Administration is active in places where such clashes have taken place. Voting is being conducted peaceful. I strongly condemn the attack on journalists: Partha Chatterjee, TMC
01:01 pm: Not surprised by all the incidents that are happening since morning. Bengal govt is a shameless govt, you cannot expect them to follow any kind of constitutional behaviour. I demand President's Rule in WB: Babul Supriyo, Union Minister
12:33 pm: Twenty-seven-year-old Sanjit Pramanik in Santipur of Nadia district dies of bullet injuries received during clashes. The death toll in poll-related violence on Monday rises to three.
#CORRECTION: A TMC worker named Arif Gazi shot dead in Kultali area of South 24 Parganas district. (The photo is not related to this incident & is being retracted, Original tweet be deleted). https://t.co/TDQ26572sE— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
12:01 pm: TMC workers across the state have been alleged of booth capturing, setting ballot papers on fire, bomb blasts in several areas.
11:57 am: 26 per cent polling till 11 am, according to state CEC.
11:52 pm: At least 20 people have been injured after a crude bomb explosion in Amdanga's Sadhanpur in North 24 Parganas.
11:34 am: In the Bhangar area of the same district, police resorted to lathi-charge and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse a crowd, following clashes. The SEC has asked the police to submit a report regarding the incident.
BJP agent was trying to run away with ballot box, officers caught hold of him but people said let him go. I just drove people away using my hand, that's all. TMC hasn't attacked anyone: #WestBengal Minister Rabindra Nath Ghosh who was caught on cam slapping a BJP supporter pic.twitter.com/j6EvoK1wf7— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
#WestBengal: Ballot papers thrown in a pond after a clash that broke out between TMC & BJP in Murshidabad. Following which voting has been stopped for now. #PanchayatElection pic.twitter.com/0kcQSz4izl— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
#Visuals from #WestBengal: BJP supporter in Bilkanda severely injured after being attacked with a knife, allegedly by TMC workers. He is presently undergoing treatment. #PanchayatElection pic.twitter.com/anRn2uSdQG— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
10:51 am: BJP supporter in Bilkanda in North 24 Pargana’s Barrackpur severely injured after being attacked with a knife.
#WATCH: On being identified, BJP supporter Sujit Kumar Das, was slapped by #WestBengal Minister Rabindra Nath Ghosh (in purple kurta) at Cooch Behar's booth no. 8/12 in presence of Police. #PanchayatElection pic.twitter.com/9S2gyAoNQt— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
09:47 am: Violence reported in Bhangar, a media vehicle has been torched in & a camera has also been broken. Media not allowed to enter the area.
#WestBengal: 20 injured in a clash which broke out between two groups in Cooch Behar . The injured have been taken to MJN hospital for treatment. Locals say, 'We went there to votee but people belonging to TMC attacked us with sticks'. pic.twitter.com/hkHsqcsZa7— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2018
09:19 am: 20 people, including an Trinamool Congress candidate are reportedly injured in a low-intensity blast in Shutkabari in Cooch Behar district. One woman was seriously injured in the blast, which took place during clashes between the TMC candidate and an independent.
09:14 am: Pre-poll surveys have predicted that the coming rural elections could provide an emphatic answer to the questions, with the BJP predicted to leave the Left Front and the Congress far behind and emerge as the main rival to the Trinamool -- which, the surveys claims, would walk away with the bulk of the seats at all three levels -- panchayat, panchayat samiti and the zila parishad.
09:12 am: Violence broke out in North 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Coochbehar and South 24 Parganas districts. In North 24 Parganas, the BJP accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) of letting loose a reign of terror in several parts of the district, especially in Amdanga area.
09:10 am: A few people were injured when clashes broke out between two groups, SEC sources said.
09:07 am: Around 1,500 security personnel from Assam, Odisha, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh are in the state to reinforce security arrangements for the polls. They will aid around 46,000 personnel of the state police and 12,000 of the Kolkata Police, while the state government would use close to 2,000 security personnel from the departments of excise, prison and forests in manning the booths. Security forces conducted route marches on Sunday in various parts of the state as part of security arrangements.
08:30 am: In Suktabari area of Cooch Behar district, a woman voter was injured and taken to a hospital when she was caught in a clash between supporters of Trinamool and an independent candidate.
07:22 am: About 5.08 crore voters — 74% of total electors in the State — will cast their votes.
07:20 am: According to West Bengal SEC (State Election Commission) sources, of the 48,650 seats in 3,358 gram panchayats, 16,814 were uncontested and of the 9,217 seats in 341 panchayat samitis, 3,059 were uncontested.
07:05 am: Voting for West Bengal panchayat elections begins.
06:38 am: The three-tier polls, spread across over 58,000 seats scheduled for tomorrow, have several instances where a father is pitted against his son, a mother is being challenged by her daughter, a son-in-law is taking on his father-in-law and a brother is slugging it out in the poll battlefield against his sister.
06:35 am: The filing of nominations, which was held from April 2 to April 9 and then again on an extended date on April 23, was marked by violence and clashes between the ruling TMC and opposition parties that led to several deaths.