West Bengal poll violence: 10 dead but DGP claims death toll far lesser than in the past

Even as 10 persons died in violence during elections to three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions in West Bengal, Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha on Monday claimed that the death toll and violence was far lesser than in the past. We wanted the elections to be peaceful and tried to ensure that no deaths occur in poll violence. Unfortunately, some people died. However, the death toll and violence recorded in Mondays panchayat elections is far lesser than previous PRI polls, Purkayastha told reporters at the State Secretariat Nabanna here. He said police deployed on election duty was successful in curbing large-scale violence on polling day. We deployed more personnel than promised to the State Election Commission. Some stray incidents have taken place, Purkayastha added. At least 10 deaths were reported across West Bengal during polling on Monday and more than 50 people were injured in clashes between opposing political groups. More than 60,000 armed personnel from West Bengal and neighbouring states were deployed for the panchayat polls. As many as 80,000 civic volunteers were also deployed to guard the polling premises.