A voter was killed and two were injured in a clash between workers of the Trinamool Congress and Congress during voting in Murshidabad Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal on Tuesday, The Indian Express reported. This is the first report of casualties from West Bengal during the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.
West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer, Ariz Aftab, said three people were arrested based on a complaint filed by the family of the man who died in the clash, reported ANI. Aftab said the complaint was filed against six people.
An unidentified police official said Tiyarul Kalam was waiting in a queue at booth number 188 when the clash broke out and he was injured, according to ANI. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Kalam was reportedly hacked to death, according to PTI.
The Congress claimed that Kalam was a member of the party and blamed the Trinamool Congress for the clash. Party workers had reportedly clashed over allegations of proxy voting at the booth.
Abu Hena, the Congress party’s candidate from Murshidabad seat, said: “One of our party workers has been killed today by TMC workers. The ruling party is indulging in violence to terrorise the voters. Our workers tried to prevent TMC workers from capturing the booth and thus [we] were attacked.”
The Trinamool Congress denied the allegation and blamed it on infighting within the Congress. “It is very unfortunate and we are saddened to see a death during elections,” said the party’s candidate from Murshidabad, Abu Taher Khan. “I am yet to get full reports on this. The factional fight of Congress could be the reason for this violence.”
Kalam’s son, Mehtab Sheikh, said his father was attacked with a sharp weapon. “My father took me to the polling booth to help me cast my vote,” Sheikh told The Indian Express. “He was not into politics.”
Another Congress worker, Mehboob Sheikh, and a Trinamool Congress worker, Tahijul Sheikh, were injured in the clash. The Election Commission has asked for a report from the Murshidabad district administration.
In a separate incident, three Trinamool Congress workers were injured after a crude bomb was hurled at them in Domkal municipality in Murshidabad constituency, The Statesman reported.
In Balurghat constituency, a polling agent was found dead at his house in Buniadpur in Dakshin Dinajpur, ANI reported. His body was found hanging in the house.