As the AITC, BJP, Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi entered a slugfest over the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) firing in Cooch Behar that led to the deaths of at least four people, the force has issued a statement saying the troops were first attacked by a mob. Recall that on 7 April, Chief Minister Banerjee had, in this very district of Cooch Behar, urged her followers to attack the central paramilitary forces.
CISF said that five or six miscreants “sustained fatal injuries” and “succumbed to injuries”.
In a detailed statement, the CISF said, “… at around 0935 hrs, near Booth No 126, QRT (Quick Reaction Team) of CISF 567/C headed by Coy Commander Insp/E Sunil Kumar was attacked by a mob of miscreants about 50 to 60 in numbers while they were taking a round of the area along with local police representative to clear public who was resisting voters from reaching polling booths.”
CISF has said as chaos ensued, one child fell down and the mob started vandalising vehicles of the CISF team and attacked the personnel.
“QRT reacted in self-defence and fired six rounds in air to disperse the mob. Shri Deepak Kumar, DC Adhoc Comdt of 567 CISF reached the spot and pacified the mob. He then left,” said the CISF statement on the violence at the Cooch Behar polling booth.
Describing the incident at Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar outside the Sitalkuchi polling booth, police said, as the central troops came under attack by the locals, they opened fire, killing four people.
The CISF said, that after an hour, another mob of 150 odd people joined in, reached Booth No 186 and started manhandling the polling staff on duty at the booth.
“Firstly, they beat up the head of Home Guard and Asha worker who were present on the duty at the booth,” the force said. The booth commander tried to pacify the mob but they entered the polling booth and further beaten up the other polling staff on duty. A few miscreants tried to snatch the weapons of CISF personnel deployed there, said the force in a statement.
It said further that the CISF personnel, as a result, fired two rounds in the air but the mob did not pay any heed to the warning. “In the meantime, QRT of CISF and police also reached the spot. The mob further started advancing aggressively towards CISF personnel, therefore sensing imminent danger to their life, they fired 7 more rounds towards the advancing mob of miscreants.”
Meanwhile, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has attacked the Modi government and said while she has been raising concerns over the conduct of the central forces, her worst fears have now come true.