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India: Tightened security amid voting in West Bengal May 16 /update 1

Tightened security during the repolling of local elections in West Bengal May 16 following deadly violence on May 14

16 May 10:18 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 5/15/2018, 12:00 AM until 5/17/2018, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION West Bengal
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Event

Increased security measures have been reported at polling stations across West Bengal state as of Wednesday, May 16, due to ongoing local elections. Polling stations opened at 07:00 (local time) and will close at 17:00. Deadly violence and electoral fraud was reported on Monday, May 14, when the vote was initially scheduled, resulting in the current repolling. Further tensions have been reported as of Wednesday and are expected to last through at least Thursday, when the counting of ballots will take place.

Context

High tensions and political violence - including killings, property destruction, and clashes between political rivals - frequently occurs during election periods in India, including during local elections.

On May 14, election day, at least 12 people were killed and 50 other injured in West Bengal state. Polling places were targeted with homemade bombs and clashes between rival party supporters broke out in several areas including the districts of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad East, South Dinajpur, Midnapore, and Burdwan.

Advice

Individuals present in West Bengal are advised to remain alert, keep abreast of local security conditions, stay away from public gatherings, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

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