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Malda Trinamul poll agent killed

Malda, April 25: A polling agent of South Malda Trinamul Congress candidate died after being hit on the head with a hammer in an attack by alleged CPM supporters at a Manikchak village this morning, a sequel to his purported prevention of rigging by the Opposition party at his booth yesterday.

Isha Khan, 32, was attacked around 8am while he was sitting in a tea stall at his village, Nazirpur. He was admitted to Malda Medical College and Hospital where he succumbed to the injuries at 5pm.

“A group of 17-18 men hit Khan on the head with a hammer. Trinamul supporters rushed to the spot and took on the attackers who were armed with lathis and iron rods,” said a source at Manikchak police station.

Eleven others were also injured in the clash and six of them were Trinamul supporters. One of the injured, Altab Miyan, a 45-year-old Trinamul worker, was admitted to the Malda medical college where doctors said his condition was critical. The other five Trinamul activists were admitted to the Manikchak rural hospital.

Although five CPM supporters were injured in the violence, they were arrested while being taken to the Manikchak hospital.

Khan was the polling agent of South Malda Trinamul nominee Moazzem Hossain at Booth 40 in Nazirpur.

Minister Sabitri Mitra, who is also the Malda district Trinamul president, alleged that Khan had been killed by CPM workers for preventing false voting. “During yesterday’s polling, he caught some CPM supporters trying to cast false votes. The infuriated CPM workers threatened him and left the booth. This morning, Khan was attacked by a group of CPM-backed criminals at a tea stall in Nazirpur. He was killed for opposing the CPM’s election malpractice.”

Nazirpur is 40km from Malda.

Srinibas Mondol, the secretary of the CPM’s Manikchak zonal committee, said: “This morning, Trinamul supporters verbally abused our workers at Nazirpur. When they protested, they were attacked with rods and lathis. In protest,villagers attacked the Trinamul supporters.”

Malda police superintendent Rupesh Kumar said Khan had died of injuries he had suffered during a clash between the supporters of two political parties in Manikchak. “Police will register a murder case and start a probe.”