The panchayat election in West Bengal, which has been marred with violence and claimed more than 20 lives, concludes with polling in the fifth phase in four districts of north Bengal on Thursday.

About 64 lakh voters would exercise their franchise in 7,961 polling booths in the four districts of Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri where in all 28,591 candidates are contesting for 7,342 seats in the rural bodies.

The State Election Commission has deployed 53 companies of Central armed police forces for holding polls, along with personnel from the State police force.

A senior official of the poll panel said here on Wednesday that the Commission has written to the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police of the Birbhum district seeking their response on what steps they have taken against Trinamool Congress district president Anubrata Mondal and MLA Monirul Islam.

While Mr. Mondal had extorted party workers to attack and burn houses of Independents and hurl bombs at the police, Mr. Islam had threatened beheading a Congress leader publicly.


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