Politicians barred from violence-hit Bengal district for 3 Days
The Election Commission says the security personnel first fired in the air but it did not deter the mob
Following Saturday's violence in which four people died, the Election Commission of India has barred political leaders from entering West Bengal's Cooch Behar district for the next three days.
The state's quiet period for the next round of elections has also been extended to 72 hours, reports NDTV.
Earlier, the Indian EC that violence outside a polling station in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district was because of a misunderstanding between the local mob and security forces.
The security forces were assisting a sick boy near the polling booth early this morning when some locals believed the boy had been beaten up by CISF staff and gathered approximately 300-350 villagers, according to the poll panel.
"Due to the misunderstanding, the agitated mob attacked the CISF personnel detailed at the booth with those deadly equipment and some of them even tried to snatch their arms and ammunitions," it said.
The Election Commission says the security personnel first fired in the air but it did not deter the mob.
"Faced with no other alternative, to save their lives and government property like EVM and other polling materials, the CISF personnel opened fire. As a result, four persons who got bullet injury succumbed to their injuries at the local Mathabhanga Sub-Divisional Hospital," the Election Commission adds.
The clashes, which took place as 44 seats voted in the fourth phase of Assembly elections, have triggered a blame-game between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called it a "planned attack" and accused the central forces of "murder". Ms Banerjee also said Bengal Police CID (Crime Investigation Department) would conduct a probe.
"Home Minister Amit Shah is completely responsible for today's incident and he himself is the conspirator. I don't blame central forces because they work under Home Minister's order. We will demand his resignation," she said in a press conference this evening.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths but also slammed Ms Banerjee and her party. "What happened in Cooch Behar is sad... I offer condolences to bereaved families. Mamata Didi and her goons are jittery because of groundswell of support for the BJP."
Bengal, which has been prone to poll-related violence, is electing its next government in a record eight-phased elections which began last month. Results will be out on May 2.