All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi has claimed that innocent Muslim lives became ' sacrificial lambs' in the West Bengal panchayat poll violence.
Owaisi took to Twitter after reports of the death of 15 Muslims surfaced on election day, he said, "These are the poisonous fruits of opportunist 'secularism'. While BJP-TMC fight for the profits of political power, innocent Muslims are just sacrificial lambs."
The West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) ordered repolling in nearly 700 booths in 19 districts in the state on July 10 after allegations of ballot box tampering were made and reports of the death of 15 people came out.
During the fresh polling on Monday in certain booths, no major violence has been reported so far.
West Bengal polling violence deaths
A Trinamool Congress party worker Abu Salem was found dead near the West Gabtala polling booth which is in the Kultali police station area. Reports say that there were injuries found on his head.
Another TMC worker, identified as Azhar Lashkar, injured during violence in the Basanti area on Saturday night died at the state-run SSKM Hospital in Kolkata.
During an alleged clash between TMC and Congress party workers in Malda district's Baishannagar, a TMC worker Motiur Rahman was stabbed outside a polling booth. Reportedly, Rahman succumbed to the injuries on the way to the Malda Medical College and Hospital.
Till Saturday night, 12 deaths were reported in the violence that broke out in the state during the polling. Among them, eight were from the ruling TMC and one supporter each of the BJP, CPI(M) and Congress.
The different political parties in the state have claimed that the death toll is higher than the official numbers, allegedly being 18 instead of 15. TMC claimed that nine of their party workers have died while Congress claimed the death of three of their party workers, Bharatiya Janata Party claimed the death of two of their supporters and so did the Communist Party (Marxist). The political affiliation of the two deceased could not be known.
The State Election Commission (SEC) said it has sought detailed reports on the deaths from the district magistrates (DMs)."We have asked the DMs to file reports on the deaths within 24 hours," an official told PTI.