Sporadic violence, clashes mar Bengal rural polls

Kolkata, May 14 : Sporadic violence and clashes between opposing political groups marred the initial hours of West Bengal panchayat polls on Monday.

The polling for electing 38,616 representatives across three tiers of state (rural) bodies started at 7 a.m. and would continue 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.

Reports of clashes and booth capturing were received from pockets of South 24 Parganas, West Midnapore and Cooch Behar districts.

In South 24 Parnagas' Bhangar the 'Jomi, Jibika, Bastutantra O Poribesh Raksha Committee' accused armed miscreants of Trinamool Congress of kidnapping their Panchayat Samiti candidate Sariful Mullick and terrorising the voters.

The committee that was formed to protect land, livelihood, ecology and environment has been spearheading an anti-power grid movement in the area and has fielded nine independent candidate in the rural polls.

The committee also accused the police of not taking action against the miscreants involved in casting false votes and backing the men of Trinamool Congress leader Arabul Islam, who was arrested three days back in an alleged case of murder.



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