Supreme Court on Monday directed that the ballot papers and video recording of the election held on January 30, that have been taken into custody by the Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana High Court in pursuant of its order, be produced before it on February 20, 2024, at 2pm.
A polling booth at Baravita Primary School in Sitai, Coochbehar has been allegedly vandalised and ballot papers set on fire after voting began for the single-phase panchayat polls in West Bengal on Saturday.
A viral video accessed by ANI shows broken chairs and tables strewn inside a smoke-filled room.
Polling for panchayats in West Bengal began this morning under stringent security cover.
Since the dates for elections were announced on June 8, violence gripped the state.
While there were reports of violence in the state around the filing of nominations, similar incidents took place thereafter as well.
In the latest flashpoint, just hours ahead of the panchayat polls, a house was vandalised in Murshidabad as the workers of the Trinamool Congress and Congress came to blows on Friday night.
A team from the local police station reached the spot after receiving word of the incident.
In another incident, the home of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in West Bengal was allegedly attacked by Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers.
The incident took place in the Kalmati area of Bamanhat II Gram Panchayat of Dinhata. The injured are currently being treated at a private hospital in Coochbehar.
Also, police conducted a search operation it received information that crude bombs and weapons have been stockpiled in the South 24 Parganas district.
Police said that they received information about bombs and weapons that had been stockpiled to create disturbance during polling for panchayats in the district.
However, they added that nothing has been found yet.
Multiple incidents of violence have been reported in the state in the run-up to the panchayat elections.
On July 1, a Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker was allegedly shot dead in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district. The deceased was found lying with a bullet injury on his head on the side of the road at Basanti police station.
Earlier, a TMC worker was allegedly beaten to death in the Malda district.
The polls are likely to see a fierce tussle for control of local administrations between the ruling TMC and the BJP and will be a litmus test for both parties ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Around 5.67 crore voters are likely to exercise their franchise to choose representatives for nearly 928 seats across 22 zilla parishads, 9,730 panchayat Samiti, and 63,239-gram panchayats seats.
West Bengal has 3,341 gram panchayats and the number of village panchayat election centres is 58,594. There are 63,239 seats at the Gram Panchayat level, 9730 at Panchayat Samiti and 928 at the Zila Parishad level.
The counting of votes will be held on July 11.