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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 06 May 2021 5.29 AM IST

CISF personnel in Cooch Behar fired in self-defence after mob attacked, tried to steal weapons: Spokesperson

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NEW DELHI: Reacting to the violent incident in Cooch Behar where four people were killed during the fourth phase of the West Bengal assembly polls, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said that its personnel opened fire in self-defence after a mob attacked them and tried to steal their weapons. Speaking to ANI, a CISF spokesperson said: "The mob outside booth 126, Jorpatki in Sitakuchi attacked CISF soldiers performing poll duty and tried to snatch their weapons. In self-defence and in order to protect the weapons and polling officials, the soldiers deployed at the polling station fired six to eight rounds."

At least four people were killed in firing by Central Forces during polling in the fourth phase in Mathabhanga in Sitalkurchi constituency in Cooch Behar district on Saturday, confirmed police. Speaking to the media, the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Cooch Behar district said, "Till now at least four persons were killed as CISF personnel opened fire after coming under attack in a village."

He said, "Everything was peaceful till 9:30 am after that a person fainted who was standing in a queue, his treatment was going on in front of the booth at the same time a rumour was spread that a central security personnel attacked him, following this around 300 or 350 locals gheraoed them, attacked the personnel with handmade weapons and attempted to snatch their rifles. Amid all this the central forces opened fire." Following the incident, the EC ordered the adjourning of the poll in PS 126 of Sitalkurchi AC, Cooch Behar based on an interim report from Special Observers. The EC will seek a detailed report from them and the Chief Election Officer by 5 pm on Saturday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that she will hold a protest rally in Cooch Behar tomorrow against the firing incident and visit the homes of the deceased. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed sadness over the death of TMC workers. He also requested the EC to strongly deal with those responsible for what happened in Cooch Behar.

This phase of the elections witnessed an intense battle between 373 candidates in 44 constituencies of the state across five districts --Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly.

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