West Bengal

West Bengal Assembly Elections | CISF, police fire in ‘self defence’ amid Bengal poll violence

Security personnel keep vigil at polling station number 126 at Sitalkuchi, in Cooch Behar district on April 10, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Members of the police and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) fired more than 15 rounds in “self defence” at two polling booths in a span of two hours at Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi Assembly constituency in West Bengal, killing four persons on Saturday.

According to a report prepared by the Border Security Force (BSF), coordinator of all central forces in the said Assembly constituency, two incidents of violence was reported at Booth number 126 and Booth Number 186 around 9.35 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. respectively.

The Trinamool Congress has said all those killed were party supporters.

QRT threatened

The BSF report said that at around 9.35 a.m., a quick reaction team (QRT) of the CISF was attacked by a mob of 50-60 persons while it was patrolling the areas near booth number 126. Inspector Sunil Kumar of CISF was attacked when he was taking a round of the area along with the local police after getting complaints that voters were being stopped from reaching the polling booth, the report said.

“In the melee, one child fell down and miscreants started damaging the vehicle of the QRT and attacked the QRT personnel. QRT reacted in self-defence and fired six rounds in the air to disperse the mob. Deepak Kumar, deputy commandant of CISF reached the spot and pacified the mob. He then left,” the report said. 

After an hour, a mob of around 150 people “started manhandling the polling staff on duty at booth number 186.”

The report said the mob assaulted a Home Guard and an Asha worker. It said the CISF booth commander “tried to pacify the miscreants” but the mob entered the polling booth and assaulted the other polling staff. 

‘Unruly mob’

“Few miscreants tried to snatch the weapons of CISF personnel deployed there. As a result, CISF personnel fired two rounds in the air but the mob didn't pay any heed to the warning. In the meantime, QRT of CISF and police also reached at the spot. The mob further started advancing aggressively towards CISF personnel, therefore sensing imminent danger to their life, they fired 7 more rounds towards the advancing mob,” the report said.

“While the above incident was going on, more police party also arrived at booth. It is reported that in self-defence they have also fired few rounds. As a result few miscreants were injured and immediately the mob dispersed. The polling was halted. More police personnel have reached the spot. It is reported that 5 to 6 miscreants have sustained fatal injuries and further they succumbed to injuries,” the report said. 

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 3:04:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/west-bengal-assembly-polls-bsf-report-says-more-than-15-rounds-fired-by-police-and-cisf-at-sitalguchi/article34289960.ece

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