Four persons were killed and at least 15 others injured in separate incidents of violence during the second phase of panchayat polls in West Bengal on Wedensday.
Police said three persons were killed in clashes between activists of the CPI(M) and RSP, partners of the Left Front government, at Amjhara village in South 24-Paraganas district, while one person died in a separate incident in Howrah district.
"Three of our activists were killed in the deliberate attacks by CPI(M). They are not allowing our party members to cast their votes," senior RSP leader and PWD Minister Kshiti Goswami alleged.
He said that polling in booths 17 and 18 at Haldarpara village in the Taldih area had to be stopped when the presiding officer was taken ill following violence by CPI(M) activists inside the booths.
In a separate poll-related incident in Howrah district, police said one person was killed and seven others, including a police constable and homeguard, were injured at Najibpur village during violence in booths under Karola gram panchayat.
The Congress claimed that CPI(M) activists drove out the election agent of the Congress candidate and hurled bombs near the booth, injuring eight persons who were hospitalised.
One of the injured later succumbed to injuries, police said.
In another incident, an infant accompanying his mother to the polling booth died of sunstroke at Panchla in Howrah district, District Magistrate Khalil Ahmed said.
The CPI(M), however, claimed that the infant died in a stampede which was triggered when Congress activists threw bombs at the booth.