In the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, some unidentified persons shot the first-time voter outside a polling booth on Saturday, said the police. According to a police officer, while the voting was underway, the deceased youth, Anand Burman was dragged outside polling booth number 85 in Sitalkuchi’s Pathantuli area and shot dead.

The Trinamool Congress alleged the BJP for the killing, while the saffron party claimed that at that booth, Burman was its polling agent and accused the ruling party of the state.

Due to the incident, a clash was triggered between TMC and BJP supporters, and bombs were lobbed outside the booth, due to which several people got injured. The officer said that to bring the situation under control, Central forces had to resort to lathi-charge.

An election official stated, “We have received information that a person was shot dead outside a polling booth in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district. We have sought a report from the micro-observer as soon as possible and the returning officer was called up to know about the situation.”

In the area, Rapid Action Force (RAF) has been deployed along with the police. Alleging the BJP workers for the killing, TMC leader and Natabari constituency candidate Rabindra Nath Ghosh said, “BJP goons are behind the killing.”

Dismissing the claim of Ghosh, BJP candidate of Sitalkuchi, Baren Chandra Barman said, “He was our polling agent and was going to the booth when TMC goons shot him dead. Rabindra Nath Ghosh’s claim is a total lie. We have informed the SP and the ECI about the incident, demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.”

The BJP candidate also claimed that when the killing took place, there were no police or central forces present near the booth. The 4th phase of elections is underway in the state and the result will be out on 2nd May 2021.

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