Terming the violence reported in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district on Saturday as a “genocide”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday hit out at the Election Commission for barring politicians from entering the area.
Claiming that the EC move was meant to “suppress facts”, Banerjee alleged that central forces had “sprayed bullets” on voters.
Violence erupted in the district during the fourth phase of Assembly elections on Saturday after CISF personnel allegedly opened fire on locals after being attacked by a mob. Four persons were killed during the incident, police said.
In another unrelated incident, a first-time voter was shot dead by unidentified persons outside a polling booth in Cooch Behar district, police said.
Following the two incidents, the EC barred politicians from entering the area for 72 hours.
The TMC supremo, while addressing a press meet in Siliguri on Sunday, claimed that central forces "sprayed bullets aiming at the torso of the victims" in Sitalkuchi area, when the fourth phase of polling was underway in the state.
"There was genocide at Sitalkuchi. I would like to visit Sitalkuchi by April 14. The EC is trying to suppress facts by restricting entry in Cooch Behar. We have an incompetent home minister and an incompetent central government," Banerjee said.
"The CISF doesn't know how to handle situations. Since the first phase of elections, I had been saying that a section of the central forces are committing atrocities on people. I had flagged the issue in Nandigram, but none paid attention to my words," she said.
Following the violence in Cooch Behar, the EC also increased the “silence period” for the fifth phase of the Assembly polls from 48 hours to 72 hours to prevent any possible law and order flare-up. No campaigning can be conducted during the silence period.
(With PTI inputs)
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