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West Bengal government to launch probe into Cooch Behar killings

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee   | Photo Credit: PTI

Four days after five people were killed in two separate incidents of violence on polling day in Sitalkuchi in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday visited the Cooch Behar district and met the families of the deceased. She promised the families that the government would investigate the killings.

 

“I assure you that justice will be delivered. Whoever has done it will not be spared. Election is on, but the State government will conduct all necessary investigation,” she said after meeting the families,on April 10. Ms. Banerjee also adding that the State would extend all help to them.

 

“I cannot say this say now, but after elections I will do whatever required to helping the families,” the Chief Minister said.

 

Five people were killed in Sitalkuchi on the polling day, including four at booth number 126 at Jor Patki gram panchayat in the Assembly constituency, when personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) opened fire. The CISF and the district officials said the forces opened fire in self-defense.

 

 Ms. Banerjee, who spoke to the families dealing with the loss, said she wanted to visit the area and meet the families at the earliest.

 

“I wanted to come here the very next day , but I was not allowed for 72 hours,” she said. After the incident at Sitalkuchi, the Election Commission of India issued a notice that no leader of any political party will visit Sitalkuchi for 72 hours. On Tuesday, the ECI barred Ms. Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours, ending at 8 p.m. on April 13.

 

Later in the day while addressing a public meeting at Dabgram-Fulbari in Jalpaiguri district, Ms. Banerjee claimed that the BJP will not get more than 70 seats. She was responding to remarks made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already won 100 seats in the first four phases of the election.

 

“Prime Minister Modi has said that the BJP has already won 100 out of 135 seats where elections have been held. I can say that after the elections are over, BJP will not get even 70 out of the total of 294 seats,” she said.

 

Ms. Banerjee accused the BJP of making contradictory statements on several issues, including the National Register of Citizens. She said Union Home Minister Amit Shah had claimed while campaigning in Darjeeling that there will be no National Register of Citizens, whereas they struck off names of 14 lakh people in Assam.

 

“As I have said earlier, there will be no NRC in Bengal. Our government will never allow NRC,” Ms. Banerjee said.

 

The Chief Minister also slammed the Union government for the spike in COVID-19 infections across the State. “They had one year, both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, but they did not do anything,” she said. Urging people to wear masks, Ms. Banerjee said she wrote to the Union government twice on distributing vaccines to all in the State, but the Centre did not agree. “They are coming during elections bringing outsiders and increasing cases. Later, we will have to deal with the mess,” she said.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 6:01:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-government-to-launch-probe-into-cooch-behar-killings/article34316784.ece

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