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Sitalkuchi rerun: Firing in 6th phase

Kolkata: The state witnessed several cases of "excesses" allegedly by the Central forces during the sixth phase polls on Thursday when another incident of firing took place at Ashoknagar in North 24-Parganas bringing back the memories of Sitalkuchi.

Two Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers were injured when Central force jawans allegedly opened fire. The Election Commission has brushed aside the allegation of any firing by Central forces at Ashoknagar.

TMC claimed that two of their workers including one Kabirul Mondal were injured in the alleged firing. The incident took place after a scuffle between Trinamool and BJP workers. Bombs were also hurled in the area.

Reacting sharply to the incident, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said that today an incident of firing took place at Ashoknagar. "We will take legal action and lodge FIR if you (Central force) open fire or resort to lathicharge without any valid reasons. Today I went to Malda where I found them raising lathis as there was a huge crowd. I asked them to bring down their lathis," Banerjee said.

Allegation of firing has cropped against the police at Baghda where three villagers received bullet injuries on their legs. Local people alleged that the police open fire following a scuffle between the police and a section of local people during the elections.

TMC workers were mercilessly beaten up and makeshift camps were ransacked allegedly by BJP-backed goons at Bijpur in North 24-Parganas with Central force jawans standing as mere spectators. TMC district president Jyotipriya Mallick alleged that the Central force hardly took any step despite their help being sought. The incident took place in front of BJP candidate Subhrangshu Roy.

Allegation has also cropped up against Central force jawans of beating up a booth-level officer near booth number 156 at Collegepara area in Raiganj Town. The victim, Avijit Kundu, claimed that he all of a sudden found the Central force jawans pushing him despite showing them his identity card and they beat him up mercilessly when he fell on the ground. "Central force has beaten up a block-level officer just for a delay in providing a fan where they were staying," Banerjee said.

They have also allegedly not allowed TMC workers to stand in front of their camp office at the 12 number ward in

Raiganj. TMC also raised allegations against the Central force of "purposefully creating" trouble at the booths that were their stronghold at Bhatar in East Burdwan. Allegation of resorting to lathicharge on voters has also cropped up against the central force at Ghatbauri gram panchayat in Bongaon.

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