Kolkata | Jagran Politics Desk: At least four people were killed on Saturday after Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) allegedly opened fire after coming under attack from locals in poll-bound West Bengal's Cooch Behar district. The CISF officials said that the locals allegedly tried to "snatch their rifles" while the voting was underway in the Sitalkuchi area.

"A scuffle took place and locals gheraoed them and attempted to snatch their rifles, following which the central forces opened fire. Further details are awaited," news agency PTI quoted a senior police official as saying.

Following the incident, the Election Commission has sought a report from the district officials. It also adjourned the voting at Polling Station 125 of Sitalkurchi Assembly Constituency in Cooch Behar based on an interim report from the Special Observers. 

This was the second incident of violence that was reported from Cooch Behar. Earlier in the day, a first-time voter -- who has been identified as Anand Burman -- was shot dead outside a polling booth by some unidentified men.

Following the incident, a war of words broke out between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) with the two parties accusing each other of the firing.

The BJP claimed that Burman was their supporter and was allegedly killed by TMC goons. However, the ruling party dismissed the allegations made by the BJP and claimed that the saffron party was behind the killing.

"BJP goons are behind the killing. They were creating a nuisance here for several days as they are losing the elections and now, they are killing people," TMC leader Rabindra Nath Ghosh said while speaking to PTI.

The killing also led to a clash between BJP and TMC supporters following which the central forces had to intervene to bring the situation under control.

"We have received information that a person was shot dead outside a polling booth in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district. We have sought a report from the micro-observer as soon as possible and the returning officer was called up to know about the situation," PTI quoted an election official as saying.

The fourth phase of polling was held for 44 seats in West Bengal on Saturday. The fifth phase of polling will be held on April 17 while the fate of the candidates will be announced on May 2.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma