Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee has termed the deaths in Cooch Behar due to firing by the Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) on Saturday as “genocide”. Notably, the CISF had opened fire at a booth in the Sitalkuchi constituency at around 10.30 am on Saturday resulting in the death of four persons and one getting injured.
Mamata Banerjee, while addressing the media in Siliguri, said that the CISF does not have any experience in crowd control and it is qualified to deal with industrial matters. She said, “This is genocide. They sprayed bullets to kill. They could have fired below the knee. The CISF has no idea about controlling mobs. They are trained for industrial areas.”
CISF violated rules, claims Mamata Banerjee
Mamata also went on to say that the central security forces are outsiders and they had opened fire in contravention of rules. She said, “There are rules—first lathi (batons), then tear gas, water cannon… There are rules. I don’t want to do politics with this. I have been saying from the start. They are gheraoing men and not allowing them to vote. People must be allowed to vote. The vote is befitting reply.”
Notably, Mamata was planning to visit Sitalkuchi on Sunday. However, after the incident, the Election Commission banned political parties from entering the area for 72 hours.
Reacting to this, Mamata said, “The Election Commission has not allowed me to go to Sitalkuchi. The MCC (Model Code of Conduct) has become the Modi Code of Conduct… Just to satisfy the BJP, I have been stopped from meeting the families.”
Meanwhile, Mamata did a video call with some of the bereaved families.
CISF opened fire in self-defense
The Special Police Observer appointed by the Election Commission, Vivek Dubey, sent a report saying the CISF had to fire in self-defense when villagers tried to snatch their weapons. There was a misunderstanding between villages and the CISF, he said.
Mamata has claimed that the poll panel is “trying to suppress the fact and give them a clean chit.”
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