Large Scale Rigging and Violence in West Bengal Panchayat Elections

Date: 
May 15, 2018

As apprehended, West Bengal witnessed massive violence and murderous attack on people during voting in Panchayat elections on Monday. TMC armed gangs captured hundreads of booths in almost all districts, chased away voters, cordoned villages to force people remain indoor. Opposition polling agents were driven out from booths. Ruling party goons fired on people, hurled bombs; in many cases snatched ballot boxes.
Till 2pm, at least 8 people have been killed.
In a gruesome incident, TMC miscreants torched the house of  CPI(M) activist Debu Das of Budhakhali GP, booth number 213, Block Namkhana, PS Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district at around 12 midnight. It was a precursor to terrorise the village. Debu Das and his wife Usha Das were burnt alive. Debu Das has been threatened on Sunday morning with dire consequences by TMC candidate and his associates. 
CPI(M) activist Taibur Rahman Gain (28) was killed in bombs in Amdanga in North 24 Parganas when TMC gang attacked polling booth.
In Beldanga of Murshidabad, BJP activist Tapan Mondal was killed by TMC armed gangs.
In Naoda in Murshidabad, Sahin Sheikh , a supporter of an independent candidate was killed by TMC.
In Santipur , Nakashipara in Nadia, and Kultali in South 24 Parganas people chased armed TMC armed gangs. In these incidents 3 TMC activists are reportedly killed.
TMC won more than 20 thousands seats without contest. On the day of voting, all districts experienced same pattern: armed TMC gangs roving freely and capturing booth with police either remaining spectators or in many cases played the role of cohorts of the criminals.
- In Coochbehar, state minister Rabindranath Ghosh was seen leading booth capturing and slapping opposition polling agent. Large scale booth capturing took place vin the district.
- In Jalpaiguri, booths were captured. In Kotowali PS area, TMC activists tried to rape a CPI(M) supporter woman , her husband was severly beaten. Polling agents were chased away from numerous booths.
- In Maldaha, TMC fired in line of voters in Ratua, Bamangola, Baishnabnagar. Many injured.
- In East Burdwan, almost all areas were captured by TMC gangs. Villagers were driven out from lines.
- In West Burdwan, most of the areas saw TMC gangs moving freely with arms. In some areas, people could resist and vite till noon.
- In North 24 Parganas, hundreads of booths were captured in Baduria, Swarup nagar, Bagda, Habra , Barrackpore sub divisions. Large gangs of TMC activists moved from morning and went from village to village to capture booths.
- In South 24 Parganas, Police and TMC jointly attacked many areas in Bhangar where one villager was killed 12 th. May. Infamous TMC criminal Arabul Islam is candidate in one of the Panchayat Samity seats here. Arabul has been arrested in the murder incident. But he was instrumental in directing TMC armed gangs and police forces under police protection.
- In Hooghly, Howrah, large scale booth capturing took place.
- In Bankura, booth capturing took place in Taldangra, Khatra.
- In Murshidabad, large scale violence took place. TMC armed gangs attacked booths in Beldanga, Bhagabangola, Naoda, Jalangi, Domkal, Rejinagar, Suti. Many people are injured in bomb attacks.
- In North Dinajpur, TMC attacked in Raiganj, Hemtabad, Islampur, Itahar, Karandighi. Scores of people, including women were injured. It was a blood-spattered election in the district.

Hundreads of complaints have been registered in State Election Commission office, both from districts and CPI(M) state centre. But no action has been taken. In most cases, observers are not responding to any complaints. In many places, even vote officials were attacked and driven out from booths. Ballot boxes were burnt, ballot papers snatched and looted. Even in these incidents, no perceptible action was taken by state administration.
Despite these attacks, people tried to exercise their voting rights. In many places, villagers tried to build up resistance and fought pitched battles with criminals. In some areas in Nadia, Murshidabad, North Dinajpur,  people chased away those who came to loot votes. They seized and burnt bikes of the criminals, some miscreants had to suffer injuries.
Left Front organized a protest rally in Kolkata, which marched from Entally to State Election Commission office this afternoon.