Sinha's statement came after the security forces deployed at a polling booth opened fire, after allegedly being attacked by a mob in Sitalkuchi.
On April 10, 2021, four people, including an 18-year-old, were killed in a shooting by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at a polling station in Sitalkuchi, Cooch Behar district in West Bengal. When the incident happened, the voting for the fourth phase of assembly elections was underway, the Indian Express reported. According to a Hindustan Times report, the security forces opened fire after allegedly being attacked by a mob first.
After the incident, BJP leader Rahul Sinha stirred controversy during a campaign rally in Habra. Sinha said, "If someone crosses his limits, then you have seen what happened in Sitalkuchi...be careful...this will happen in several places". He added, "Not four, eight people should have been shot dead in Sitalkuchi. The Central forces should be issued a show-cause notice asking why they killed only four and not eight", according to an India Today report.
Following Sinha's remarks, the Trinamool Congress filed a complaint with the Election Commission, alleging that Sinha made inflammatory, inciting statements and instigated violence against the West Bengal electorate. According to a report by News18, the party recommended "stringent disciplinary action" against the two leaders.
On April 13, the EC barred Sinha from campaigning for 48 hours. Calling Sinha's remarks "highly provocative," the EC said that they could "incite the forces that could have serious law and order implications, thereby adversely affecting the election process," the HT reported.