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West Bengal panchayat elections LIVE: 10 killed in violent clashes; ballot boxes looted at gunpoint
West Bengal panchayat polls which are being held today have been marred with instances of violence in which at least 10 people have been killed so far, reports ABP Ananda.

Earlier there were reports of the TMC workers not letting candidates of other parties file their nominations and now on the day of the polls, there have been numerous reports of violence.  

A few unidentified people looted ballot boxes from polling booths no. 44, 45 and 44 K at gunpoint.

People armed with sticks reportedly stopped people from voting and in some instances even drove off the election officials out of the pooling booths. In Coochbehar district of West Bengal, at least 15 people are reported to have suffered injuries because of the ongoing clashes. Last night, a CPM worker's house was torched in which the CPM worker and his wife lost their lives. 

Clashes have also been reported from Bhangar in South 24 Paraganas district, Dinhata in Coochbehar district and Uttar Dinajpur district. Video footage from South 24 Paraganas showed TMC workers and CPLLEE workers trading blows inside a polling booth. In North 24 Parganas some men tried to even capture a whole polling booth and clashes erupted when locals stopped them from doing so. 

These panchayat polls are being held in three phases in the state and are extremely crucial given that they are the last polls before the state goes for parliamentary elections in 2019.  

But the authenticity of the whole process has come under serious fire especially with emerging facts such as that of 34 per cent of the panchayat seats in Bengal going uncontested (the candidates on most of such seats being of the ruling TMC).

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