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5 poll staff confined

Balurghat, July 26: Five polling personnel were confined to a booth in Majhian near here for around 10 hours since last night by alleged Trinamul supporters who said that the votes for the three tiers of the panchayat system were mixed up in the ballot boxes.

A source said polling at Majhian ended around 10pm yesterday.

When the polling personnel were preparing to leave the booth, alleged Trinamul activists said a presiding officer had instructed some of the voters to drop the ballot papers of the gram panchayat, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad in a single ballot box during voting.

The alleged Trinamul supporters asked the polling personnel to unseal the ballot boxes.

Alleged CPI(M) activists present there protested and said the seal of the ballot boxes would not be broken. This led to an argument and alleged Trinamul supporters blocked the exit of the station and demanded a re-polling.

The poll personnel were allowed to leave at 8am today after they got a written declaration from the block development officer that the ballot papers would be checked while counting. The BDO of Balurghat, Pankaj Tamang, denied comment.