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CM Mamata Banerjee Assures Justice to Cooch Behar Families

The Quint
·3 min read

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, 14 April, met the families of those who were killed in the CISF firing at a polling booth in Cooch Behar district on Saturday.

Banerjee asserted that her party will launch a probe to punish all the culprits involved.

In a tweet posted by Trinamool Congress, the party shared a picture of Banerjee holding a baby. "No one can understand your pain better than Bengal's daughter. Moving image from @MamataOfficial's visit to grieving families of Sitalkuchi genocide," the tweet said.

Four people were killed in a firing by central forces on Saturday, 10 April, as voting was underway at polling station 126 of the Sitalkuchi Assembly constituency in Cooch Behar. The Election Commission said that the CISF had to fire in order to save lives of voters who came to vote.

'Will Ensure Justice to the Family': WB CM

Banerjee said that her government will launch a probe to punish the culprits. "Our inquiry will track everyone responsible for the cold-blooded killing and ensure they are punished as per the law," she said.

She said that she will also "ensure justice for the family of Ananda Burman, an 18-year-old first-time voter who was shot dead outside a polling booth in the same district".

Open Fire Was Absolutely Necessary: ECI

At least four people died on Saturday as central forces opened fire after purportedly coming under attack in Sitalkuchi. The TMC has claimed that those who were shot dead were its workers.

In a statement on Saturday, 10 April, the Election Commission said, “Recourse to open fire by CISF personnel became absolutely necessary in order to save lives of voters lined up at the polling booth, those of other polling personnel and their own lives as mob had attempted snatching their weapons.”

Superintendent of Police, Cooch Behar, made a statement on Saturday saying that the CISF firing was in self-defence. He stated that a man fell unconscious and was being treated in front of the booth, but the villagers assumed he was injured by the CISF.

This led to a crowd of 300-350 people allegedly attacking the CISF by trying to snatch their rifles, use of handmade weapons, and other such acts, he added.

The CISF personnel got into a scuffle with the villagers, after which the firing started. So far, four people have lost their lives, confirmed the SP.

2 PILs Filed in HC for Judicial Probe

Two Public Interest Litigations (PIL) were filed before the Calcutta High Court on Monday, 12 April, praying for a judicial inquiry into the CISF firing case.

One of the petitions requested that the court should give an order to ensure that the CISF company, whose personnel has opened fire in Sitalkuchi, be kept off election duty in West Bengal.

The petitioners – an advocate at Calcutta High Court and a school teacher – also demanded adequate monetary compensation to the families of those who were killed in the firing.

The petitioners have demanded the court to form an independent committee headed by a retired HC judge.

Also Read: No, This CISF Personnel Wasn’t Injured During West Bengal Polling

. Read more on West Bengal by The Quint.CM Mamata Banerjee Assures Justice to Cooch Behar Families Did a Decade-Long Caste Conflict Lead to Double Murder in TN? . Read more on West Bengal by The Quint.