Kolkata, July 22: Eight people were killed and between 24 and 29 percent of the electorate had exercised their franchise in the first four hours of voting in the fourth phase of West Bengal's panchayat polls Monday.
While three deaths were reported from Birbhum district, five other deaths occurred in Malda, Nadia and Murshidabad districts, official sources said.
A State Election Commission official said till 11 am, 29 percent polling was reported in Birbhum, 28 percent in Nadia, 27 percent in Mushidabad and 24 percent in Malda.
The body of two CPI-M workers were recovered from a field under the Mayureshwar police station in Birbhum district Monday morning. Another seriously injured worker has been hospitalised.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress for the deaths. However, the Trinamool said that the victims were making bombs which exploded, claiming their lives.
One person was killed when unidentified people hurled bombs at him in Mayapur of Nadia district.
A woman voter was killed while standing in a queue when miscreants threw bombs outside a polling booth in Kajishah village of Beldanga in Murshidabad district.
In Ratua of Malda district, one person was killed when Central Reserve Police Force personnel opened fire to control a mob.
Several others sustained injuries in clashes during which bombs, firearms and sharp weapons were used indiscriminately in all the four districts that went to the hustings.
Apprehending violence, the administration had declared 80 percent of the polling booths in Monday's polls as either highly sensitive or sensitive.
About 1.10 crore electorate can exercise their choice in about 13,400 polling booths in the four districts for 14,401 zilla parishad, panchayat samiti and gram panchayat seats in the three-tier local bodies.
The five-phase polling began July 11. The final round will be held July 25. The vote count is July 29.