Centre asks Bengal to explain violence during panchayat polls

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New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) In the wake of violence during the panchayat elections in West Bengal on Monday that left at least 10 dead, the Central government has sought a report from the state government, an official said.

At least 10 people were killed and more than 50 injured by 7 p.m on Monday in the violence during the three-tier Panchayati Raj institutions’ elections in West Bengal.

“Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the West Bengal government in view of the violence during panchayat elections,” a senior Home Ministry official said.

The State Election Commission (SEC) said the polling percentage was 73 at the end of voting, though the numbers would go up since 4.5 lakh voters were still queued up across the state.

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A youth was beaten to death as he tried to enter polling premises in Nadia district, while a Trinamool Congress activist was shot dead in South 24 Parganas district’s Kultali, the police said.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist claimed that one of their activists was killed in a bomb attack in North 24 Parganas district’s Amdanga.

Three deaths were reported from Murshidabad, while two were killed in East Midnapore’s Nandigram. Two persons lost their lives in Nadia and North Dinajpur districts.

However, Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha said that the death toll and violence was “far lesser than in the past”.

More than 60,000 armed personnel from West Bengal and neighbouring states were deployed for the panchayat polls. As many as 80,000 civic volunteers were also deployed to guard the polling centres.

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