KOLKATA: The Calcutta high court on Thursday directed the State Election Commission to deploy central forces in all districts within 48 hours in view of the West Bengal panchayat polls, PTI reported.
The panchayat elections in West Bengal will be held in a single phase on July 8, with the counting of votes scheduled for July 11.
The panchayat polls in West Bengal are likely to see a fierce contest between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress being touted as a litmus test for both parties ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections. (ANI)

Fresh violence in Birbhum

Violence erupted at the Sainthia’s Block Development Office (BDO) in Birbhum’s Ahmadpur in West Bengal on Thursday, the last day to file nominations for the panchayat polls scheduled to be held on July 8, ANI adds.
However, as per the officials, no casualties have been reported in the incident.

As per the visuals, crude bombs have also been hurled in the area.
Police have also detained a few people involved in the clash.
West Bengal is witnessing violence and clashes in certain parts of the state during the filing of nomination papers for panchayat polls.
Heavy security force was deployed in South 24 Parganas district on the last day of nomination for West Bengal panchayat polls.
On Wednesday, the situation remained tense in several areas of the state, like the Bhangar block in the South 24 Parganas district- the area which had witnessed clashes between TMC and Indian Secular Front (ISF) workers in the past two days.
Supporters of the Trinamool Congress and ISF were seen on the roads with sticks and batons as the police struggled to maintain law and order.
During the clash, some police officers and Canning SDPO also got injured.
Canning sub-divisional police officer Dibakar Das said, “There was a clash between two groups. The mob attacked the police as well. I also got hurt on my hand during that time. Some policemen got minor injuries. 2 people were injured. We have arrested 17-18 people. The incident is being investigated.”
Notably, the Calcutta high court had ordered the requisition and deployment of central forces in all areas declared sensitive by the State Election Commission (SEC) for the polls.
However, the court – while hearing petitions of BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari and Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury – refused to consider the PILs seeking an extension of time for filing of nominations for the July 8 polls.

Mamata blames oppn

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the opposition parties of trying to malign the state by orchestrating violence while filing nominations for the panchayat polls.
Talking to reporters outside a party office at Maheshtala near here, Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, asserted that those who “were non-performers” have been denied tickets by the party this time.
“Opposition parties are trying to create disturbances by orchestrating violence while filing nominations. They are doing it to tarnish the state’s image. The CPI(M) is behind today’s violence in the Chopra area (in Uttar Dinajpur district), and ISF is attacking our party workers in Bhangore (South 24 Parganas),” she said.
Banerjee also slammed the BJP-led central government for stopping the due funds for the state and using central agencies to threaten the TMC.
Violence has rocked various parts of Bengal for the last week over the filing of nominations for the panchayat polls.
With agency inputs

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