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PIL seeking punishment of those involved in Sitalkuchi firing incident filed in HC

Kolkata: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Calcutta High Court on Monday seeking punishment for those responsible for the firing at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district where four persons were killed during the fourth phase of election on April 10.

The four persons were killed in firing by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel in "self-defence", allegedly after coming under attack from a mob who "attempted to snatch their arms".

Sources in the Commission said that webcasting facility was available in the particular polling booth but it did not work due to some technical reasons. The videography exercise was carried out by the Commission but the footage has not yet been retrieved due to some technical issues. "We are trying to retrieve the footage," a senior EC official said.

The Trinamool Congress as well as the Sanjukta Morcha has been vocal in demand of releasing the video footage to ascertain what were the circumstances that led the jawans to open fire leading to deaths.

Advocate Firdous Samim, the petitioner said that the matter is expected to be heard on April 16.

The plea also sought compensation for the kin of the victims, immediate probe into the incident and the company of Central forces deployed by the Commission in charge of the Sitakuchi booth to be prohibited from the election process.

Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court issued a notification mentioning that all the matters shall be taken only on virtual mode on and from April 12, in view of COVID-19 related issues. Only the lawyers who do not have video accessibility shall attend the Court physically.

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