TMC Worker Killed, Bengal Panchayat Poll Violence Toll at 6
KALIACHAK, MALDA - A Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate for the upcoming panchayat polls, Mustafa Sheikh, was tragically beaten to death by unknown miscreants in Kaliachak, Malda district. The incident has raised concerns about the escalating violence surrounding the elections, with the death toll due to political violence during the nomination process now standing at six within the past eight days.
Mustafa Sheikh, a 62-year-old candidate, was attacked while returning home after a day of campaigning. The motive behind the attack remains unknown, although the family of the deceased has accused local Congress workers of involvement.
Police authorities have initiated an investigation into the incident, resulting in the detention of a suspect named Abdul Mannan. Further inquiries are ongoing to determine his role in the crime.
In response to the heightened violence surrounding the panchayat polls, the West Bengal governor, CV Ananda Bose, visited the town of Canning in South 24 Parganas, where violence had erupted during the nomination filing process earlier in the week.
The panchayat polls are scheduled for July 8, and incidents of violence have cast a shadow over the electoral process. Opposition parties have expressed concerns about candidates being threatened and coerced into withdrawing their nominations, raising doubts about the fairness and integrity of the polls.
In a separate incident, a convoy belonging to Union Minister Nisith Pramanik was allegedly attacked with an arrow by supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress in Cooch Behar district. The ruling party has denied these allegations.
The state government and the State Election Commission have approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Calcutta High Court order regarding the deployment of central forces during the panchayat polls. The high court had mandated the deployment of central forces across the state to ensure a free and fair electoral process.
As tensions continue to rise ahead of the panchayat polls, stakeholders, including political parties, law enforcement agencies, and the Election Commission, must collaborate to address the prevailing violence and create a secure and peaceful environment for voters and candidates.