Tactics that Bengal was once familiar with but had taken a backseat in recent elections allegedly reared their head on Wednesday, especially in Birbhum and Burdwan. The following list has been drawn up on the basis of conversations with villagers, police sources and polling agents
Intimidation: Three to four days before polling, groups have been going to the houses of known CPM supporters and warning them not to step out of their homes on the day of voting. On Thursday, whenever known CPM supporters approached polling booths, they were warned not to proceed. Several such groups of disappointed and frightened CPM supporters were seen huddled under trees near the polling stations. Bombs were also hurled at several booths to keep away CPM supporters
Source: Based on conversations with several villagers
Booth capture: Several booths where central forces were not present were taken over by groups that cast votes as they pleased. The takeover was easy because the presiding officers were from the same constituency in several instances and could easily be intimidated
Agent eviction: Polling agents were beaten up and driven away from several booths. Thereafter, the assailants took control of the booths and pointed to the voters the button they should press
Booth jamming: A time-tested method but not used much this time. Several workers lined up at booths to form long queue so that genuine voters get frustrated and leave. The votes were then cast by the intruders
Seat:Birbhum in Birbhum district
Hason: 2 booths
What happened: People intimidated and told to vote in favour of Trinamul in the absence of central forces and CPM polling agents
Suri: 2 booths
What happened: No CPM polling agents allowed to enter the booths and voters were warned in front of police that they should vote Trinamul. The state forces did not disperse the Trinamul workers who had gathered inside and outside the booths
Dubrajpur: 1 booth
What happened: Many
Opposition party voters in Loba told they must not leave their homes during polling hours. Trinamul workers kept vigil in the village on motorbikes
What happened: CPM worker Sheikh Majibul Molla was beaten up allegedly by Trinamul workers when he was on his way to vote. Molla was admitted to Suri sadar hospital with a serious head injury
Allegation made by: Kamre Elahi, the CPM candidate. He said: “In these 5 booths, votes were looted. We have demanded repolling in these booths.”
Trinamul reaction: “Everything is fine...Voting was peaceful in Birbhum,” said Anubrata Mondal, the district Trinamul president
What happened: A Trinamul camp office ransacked by alleged CPM activists
Allegation made by: Trinamul block president of Nalhati-II Bibhas Adhikary.
CPM reaction: A party leader in Nalhati said: “It is Trinamul which attacked its own camp office because they wanted to create a scene. They know that people of Nalhati are not with them.”
Seat: Bolpur in Birbhum district
Ketugram: 63 booths
What happened: Crude bombs hurled in front of booths to drive away voters. After voters ran away, polling agents of CPM thrashed and pushed out of the booths. Trinamul workers allegedly pressed the EVM button according to their will in front of polling officials
Ausgram: 62 booths
What happened: No CPM polling agent turned up after alleged threats three days ago. People told to vote Trinamul
Mangalkot: 60 booths
What happened: CPM polling agents prevented from entering booths. Trinamul workers kept watch on the area on motorbikes and told people to vote for Trinamul
Bolpur: 55 booths
What happened: CPM agents thrown out of booths after they complained of false voting by Trinamul activists
Nanoor: 94 booths
What happened: Local CPM leaders and polling agents driven out of the area on Tuesday night. Largescale false voting reported
Labhpur: 8 booths
What happened: Bombs hurled outside booths to terrorise voters as well as rivals of Trinamul
Mayureswar: 1 booth
lWhat happened: Two CPM polling agents driven out of booth. Mob outside booth warned voters that they must vote Trinamul
What happened: CPM agent Montu Mian beaten up allegedly by Trinamul workers when he was on his way to polling booth in Ankhona village. Three other villagers suffered injuries in Agardanga after bombs were thrown by Trinamul activists
lWhat happened: CPM worker Sushanta Pramanik suffered splinter injuries after crude bombs were hurled allegedly by Trinamul activists in front of a booth in Haribati
What happened: Wasim Iqbal, son of CPM polling agent Mashiur Iqbal, beaten up after he refused to take his father away from the booth in Illambazar. Iqbal lodged a complaint with police
Four polling agents thrashed on their way to booths in Joydev, near Illambazar. All in
llambazar block hospital
Two voters beaten up allegedly by the Trinamul workers in Parui, near Bolpur, soon after they came out after voting. The attackers suspected they had voted CPM
Allegation made by: CPM candidate Ramchandra Dome. “It appears that the ruling party in the state has run the machinery for holding the polls. They did whatever they wanted in the absence of the Election Commission. We have demanded repolling in all the booths where voters were intimidated,” he said.
Trinamul reaction: “It (Bolpur) is the place of Tagore. Such things do not happen here. All allegations are false,” said Anubrata Mondal, district Trinamul president.
What happened: Trinamul supporter Pijush Kanti Dey attacked allegedly by CPM activists while on his way to vote in Kamarhati village
CPM reaction: Not available
Seat:Burdwan-Durgapur, Burdwan district
Bhatar: 31 booths
What happened: No CPM agent allowed inside booths. Voters threatened by Trinamul workers
Manteswar: 15 booths
What happened: All CPM agents allegedly driven out of booths.
CPM supporters prevented from voting
Burdwan (north): 44 booths
What happened: CPM workers threatened with dire consequences. Polling agents of CPM driven out of the booths
Galsi: 27 booths
What happened: Bombs hurled by Trinamul workers to create terror. Voters intimidated after CPM polling agents were pushed out of booths
Dugapur East: 4 booths
What happened: Voters threatened outside booths. Allegation of rampant false voting. Several people could not vote as they found somebody had already voted on their behalf
Burdwan: Former CPM councillor of Burdwan Municipal Corporation Adhikram Sanyal attacked while going to polling booth in Burdwan (South) Assembly segment. He was driven out of the booth
Galsi: 5 CPM workers injured after Trinamul workers allegedly hurled bombs at them. All injured admitted to a Burdwan hospital where their condition is stated to be critical
Allegation made by: Saidul Haque, the CPM candidate. “Despite repeated requests, no central force was deployed in the booths where Trinamul had a free run in the last panchayat polls. We have demanded repolling in these booths,” he said.
Trinamul Reaction: “Voting was peaceful in Burdwan. All allegations are baseless,” said Swapan Debnath, minister of state for land reforms.
Seat: Burdwan (East), Burdwan district
Memari: 36 booths
What happened: CPM agents told to leave booths as soon as polling started. Trinamul workers entered booths and ask voters to press the button for Trinamul
Kalna: 2 booths
What happened: No CPM agents allowed inside booths
Purbasthali (south): 30 booths
What happened: Trinamul supporters squatted in front of the booths after CPM agents were driven out. Voters threatened that they must vote Trinamul
Purbasthali (North): 2 booths
What happened: CPM agents driven out of booths.
Jamalpur: 71 booths
What happened: CPM agents driven out of booths. Voters intimidated. No central forces.
Three CPM workers — Tarun Ghosh, Chinmoy ghosh, Subir Das — attacked allegedly by Trinamul workers. All in a local hospital.
Allegation made by: Amal Halder, CPM district secretary. “People could not exercise their democratic rights in these areas because of booth capturing by Trinamul. We have demanded repolling in all these booths,” he said.
Trinamul reaction: “Our people worked hard to make the vote peaceful. Some untoward incident took place as the CPM tried to intimidate voters,” said Swapan Debnath
Seat: Arambagh, Hooghly district
What happened: Trinamul panchayat member Jharna Singha was seen pushing the button on behalf of a voter in Arambagh. The Election Commission has lodged a complaint with police
Trinamul reaction: Swapan Nandi, block Trinamul president of Arambagh, said: “We have heard she had helped her elderly mother-in-law who can’t see well. We are collecting details of what happened.” Jharna Singha could not be contacted for comment
11 people injured after CPM and the Trinamul supporters attack each other in front of a booth. Both parties allege they were opposing a bid to capture the booth