In a violent turn to the Assembly elections in West Bengal, four persons, including an 18-year-old, were killed in firing by CISF personnel at a polling station in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district where voting was underway for the fourth phase Saturday morning.
Police said local residents stormed the polling station following rumours in the area and tried to snatch weapons of the security personnel who retaliated by opening fire.
The dead have been identified as Hamidul Mian (31), Monirujjaman Mian (28), Noor Alam Mian (20) and Samiul Haq (18), all from Jorpatki village. The first three were migrant workers who had returned home to vote while the fourth worked at a cyber cafe in the village.
Four others, including one with a bullet injury, are undergoing treatment at the Mathabhanga hospital.
In a separate incident in Sitalkuchi, a first-time voter, Anand Barman (18), was shot dead, allegedly by miscreants, when he queued up to vote at a polling booth in Pathantuli. The incident took place when supporters of the TMC and BJP clashed in the area.
Following the CISF firing incident, the Election Commission stopped the polling process at the Jorpatki booth and barred all political leaders from entering Cooch Behar district for the next 72 hours. It also extended the ‘silent period’ from 48 hours to 72 hours for the fifth phase of voting on April 17.
Almost immediately after the incident, a…