TMC worker hacked to death as ‘sporadic clashes’ mar 2nd phase of polling in Bengal; 28 arrested

In total, the Election Commission received 1,605 complaints and at least 28 people were arrested in connection with these incidents. Two persons were found dead, while several more were injured in the violence that erupted during the second phase of polling on Thursday.

After a largely peaceful opening phase, the second phase of polling for the West Bengal Assembly on Thursday saw the return of violence, with clashes being reported in several constituencies straddling East and West Midnapore.

In total, the Election Commission received 1,605 complaints and at least 28 people were arrested in connection with these incidents.

Two persons were found dead, while several more were injured in the violence that erupted during the second phase of polling on Thursday.

In one of these incidents, a ruling Trinamool Congress worker was stabbed to death at Keshpur in West Midnapore, hours before voting began. The deceased was identified as Uttam Dolui (37). He was attacked with sharp weapons by unidentified goons, said sources, adding that he was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared brought dead. The incident took place near a club in the Hariharpur area of Keshpur.

While the Trinamool lost no time to point an accusing finger at the BJP, the saffron party denied any involvement in the killing. A total of eight persons were arrested in connection with this incident.

“In one of the major incidents of violence that took place today, 37-year- old Uttam Daloi in Keshpur received sharp injury. He was being taken to Medinipur Medical College via Keshpur when he succumbed. A case has been registered in Keshpur police station under IPC sections 302 (murder), 143 (unlawful assembly), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 120B (criminal conspiracy). Eight persons have been arrested in the case,” said the state’s Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab.

In another incident in the prized Nandigram constituency of East Midnapore, which has pit Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee against former party colleague Suvendu Adhikari, a BJP worker identified as 52-year-old Uday Shankar Dubey, was found hanging. A local police team visited the spot. “Prima facie, it seems to be a suicide case. But further investigation is being conducted to ascertain the exact cause of his death,” Aftab said.

A labourer, Dubey was found hanging by his wife Sabita at 4 am at their house in Bhekutia. As per his family members, he retired to his room after dinner last night and was dead in the morning. According to his daughter Sumita Pradhan and her husband Shankar Prasad Pradhan, he was being threatened by some Trinamool-backed goons over the last few days as he was with the BJP. Sumita was deputed as a BJP polling agent in Khodambari, Nandigram.

They alleged that over the past few days, the goons had been telling him to stay away from politics. Police sent his mortal remains for post-mortem examination.

Local Trinamool leaders, however, claimed that it was depression that drove him to suicide.
In a third incident, BJP candidate Pritesh Ranjan Konar was attacked in Keshpur Assembly constituency around 12 pm. Konar and five of his supporters received minor injuries in the incident. A senior police officer said 20 people, including 6 men and 14 women, were arrested in connection with this case.

A BJP polling agent was beaten up by alleged Trinamool workers outside booth number 173 in Keshpur. He was admitted to a hospital.
In another incident, BJP leader Tanmay Ghosh’s car was vandalised by some miscreants.

“At least 28 persons were arrested directly in cases of violence while several others were picked up as a preventive measure. Apart from sporadic incidents, the polling was conducted peacefully,” Aftab said.

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