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West Bengal vote 68 percent in third phase, one dead in violence
Thursday April 21, 2016 7:51 PM, Agencies

Kolkata: Amid incidents of violence that left one person dead and several others injured, West Bengal saw over 67 percent votes cast in 62 constituencies during the first six hours on Thursday in the third phase of the assembly elections.

Heavy turnout of 70.55 per cent was recorded in 16 seats of Burdwan while Kolkata recorded 49.43 per cent votes till 3 PM. In 17 seats of Nadia, the turnout was 68.62 per cent and in 22 seats of Murshidabad the figure was 70.32 per cent.

The overall average was 67.55 per cent, Election Commission sources said.

A government official on poll duty, who was maintaining the queue at a booth in Burdwan district, died apparently of sunstroke.

A presiding officer in a booth in Burdwan was removed complaints by polling agents that he was trying to influence voters.

Union Minister Babul Supriyo was allegedly heckled at a polling booth in Jorasanko constituency in the city when he went to cast his vote, along with his mother.

Election Commission sources said forces were sent and the situation was brought under control.

The body of a 35-year-old CPI(M) supporter, identified as Tahidur Islam, was found about 500 metres away from the polling booth at Shibapara area of Domkal assembly seat in Murshidabad district.

In Kolkata, Trinamool leader Anwar Khan was arrested following instructions from Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta after he was shown on TV channels abusing the poll panel while talking to a party worker over phone.

In Burdwan's Ketugram constituency, four persons were injured in separate incidents. A CPI(M) worker's ear was slashed and the leg of another party supporter fractured in a scuffle in front of a booth number 78. Two other CPI(M) workers were injured at booth number 48 when bombs were reportedly hurled at them.

District Election Officer Soumitra Mohan said four persons have been arrested in this connection.

He said a presiding officer of Khandaghosh seat was removed after complaints by polling agents that he was trying to influence voters.

Domkal CPI (M) candidate and former minister Anisur Rahman claimed that Islam was killed when bombs were hurled outside the polling booth, while district superintendent of police C Sudhakar said the murder was not related to the polls.

Left parties have blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) for the killing and alleged that it has unleashed a reign of terror to intimidate voters.

TMC on the other hand said the death was a fallout of infighting between the alliance partners Congress and Left Front. .

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