NEW DELHI – At least eight people were killed and several others injured including some journalists Monday during clashes and violence that hit rural body (panchayat) elections in India's eastern state of West Bengal, according to local media reports.
The violence began soon after the polling began in the state in morning at 7:00. "A Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI-M worker and his wife were killed in 24 South Parganas when suspected Trinamool Congress supporters set their house on fire. In North 24 Parganas, another CPI-M worker was killed in a blast," the television channel report said.
"A Trinamool Congress supporter died after being shot in Kuktuli in South 24 Parganas district, another succumbed to injuries in Nadia's Nakashipara. Student leader belonging to Trinamool Congress was allegedly lynched to death by villagers for capturing a booth in Nadia district's Shantipur area. A BJP worker was killed in a bombing in Murshidabad."
The television said an independent candidate in Murshidabad's Nawda was also shot dead by unidentified miscreants taking death toll to eight. Until 1:00 p.m., around 41.51 percent turnout was recorded.
Earlier during the day, a low intensity blast went off at a polling station in Cooch Behar district, injuring 20 people.
Reports said a media vehicle was damaged in clashes in South 24 Parganas district and five journalists were injured during clashes in Birpara of Alipurduar district.
Reports said many ballot boxes have been set on fire and looted, besides ballot papers teared by the attackers.
Police have fired dozens of tear smoke shells and warning shots to disperse the arsonists. Officials said ballot papers are being used instead of Electronic Voting Machines. Enditem ---