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Bengal polls: Independent candidate supporter killed

Kolkata, May 11 (IANS) A supporter of an Independent candidate for the coming panchayat polls was killed on Friday allegedly in an armed attack on a political rally in West Bengal's Bhangar, informed sources said.

Bhangar has been on the boil for more than a year centring the construction of a power grid sub-station in the area.

According to the leaders of 'Jomi, Jibika, Bastutantra o Poribesh Raksha Committee' (committee to protect land, livelihood, ecology and environment)', that has been leading the anti-power grid movement in the area, the deceased was shot in the head while walking in a rally, taken out in support of the Independent candidates backed by the committee for the polls.

Police confirmation was awaited.

"Hafizul Molla (26) a resident of Bhangar's Machibhanga has been shot dead allegedly while walking in a rally taken out by the committee in Polerhaat-2 in South 24 Parganas district's Kashipur," Sarmistha Chowdhury, leader of CPI-ML Red Star, that has been backing the movement, told IANS.

"The attack was conducted by a group of miscreants backed by local Trinamool Congress leader Arabul Islam who opened fire and hurled bombs at the rally," she said.

Chowdhury said a local resistance group called 'Bhangar Andolan Sanghati Committee' will hold a rally on Saturday from Kolkata's Moulali to Esplanade protesting the killing.

Nine Independent candidates backed by the local committee and the ultra-left parties are contesting in eight Gram Panchayat and one Panchayat Samiti seats in Bhangar after the Calcutta High Court directed the state election commission to accept their nomination papers submitted through WhatsApp, as they were allegedly physically restrained from completing the paperwork.

--IANS

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