Toll in poll clashes rises to 25 in West Bengal

Toll in poll clashes rises to 25 in West Bengal

As political parties engaged in a game of power and flexing muscles in the Panchayat polls in West Bengal, the death toll in poll-related violence rose to 25, with six more deaths being reported on Tuesday.

While the death roll began on July 11, Tuesday’s deaths were reported from Malda, Murshidabad and Birbhum, three of the four districts that were part of the fourth phase of polling on Monday. With the fifth and final phase of the current poll is scheduled for July 25, more violence is apprehended. Murshidabad remained one of the most disturbed districts, where intermittent clashes took place not just between Trinamool Congress and the two Opposition parties, CPM and Congress, but also between the two Opposition parties. Of the three children injured on Monday after they picked up a bomb thinking it to be a ball, one of them has been admitted to a state-run hospital in Kolkata, Trinamool MP and party spokesman, Derek O’Brien told reporters.

If parts of Malda district are still recovering from the effects of Tuesday’s clashes, Murshidabad district remained tense with the killing of two Congress supporters early in the morning at Shaktipur, around 220 km from Kolkata. While the Congress leadership blamed the CPM for the two deaths, the situation turned worse after a CPM cadre, who was injured on Monday, died on Tuesday afternoon. Another Congress supporter was killed in a clash between the two parties, which also left nine Congress supporters injured.

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