West Bengal Panchayat Poll violence death toll rises to 42

Kolkata: The overall death toll in connection to the recently-held panchayat polls in West Bengal increased to 42 on Wednesday after three people were killed in South 24 Parganas district.

Amid night-long clashes in Bhangar, epicentre of the poll-related violence, two people were killed and two police personnel were shot and injured.

Since the polling dates were announced on June 8, Bhangar has reported a total of five deaths.

On Tuesday night, Raju Mollah and Hasan Ali, active members of All India Secular Front (AISF), were killed.

The AISF leadership accused associates of local Trinamool Congress strongman Arabul Islam of carrying out the killings out of revenge following the victory of party candidates in majority of the gram panchayat in that area.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to prevent the clashes, two police personnel, including an ASP and his bodyguard, were severely injured as they were shot by bullets shot by clashing activists of the two political parties at Bhangar.

The ASP, identified as Maksud Hasan, is under treatment at a local hospital in crucial condition.

The third death was reported in Raidighi.

Biplap Mondal, a Trinamool Congress activist who was injured in severe clashes late Tuesday night, died on Wednesday morning.

Earlier on Tuesday, Governor C.V. Ananda Bose had visited Bhangar area and had said that “authorities will come down heavily on those who are responsible for unleashing such violence”.

“The perpetrators of violence will ultimately curse the day they were born. This cannot be tolerated at any cost since it will affect the future generation,” he said.

Later in the evening, the Governor said that his twin agenda will be fighting against corruption and ending the trend of bloodbath in any election in the state.

“In the current situation, there should be a twin agenda in West Bengal. The first is against political violence. The second is against corruption. Time has come for the beginning of a holy war against these two issues. Everyone should come forward in the battle against these two menaces.”


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