Violence mars sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls in Bengal

A compilation of some of such incidents...

  • Published 13.05.19, 1:43 AM
  • Updated 13.05.19, 3:28 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Voters wait in queues to cast their votes at a polling station, during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections, at Kharagpur in West Midnapore, on May 12, 2019. (PTI)

Clashes, heckling and firing marred the sixth and the penultimate phase of the general election in Bengal on Sunday.

The broken rear windshield of Dilip Ghosh’s car.
The broken rear windshield of Dilip Ghosh’s car. (Saikat Santra)

Where: Keshiari and Mohanpur in West Midnapore

What happened: Midnapore BJP nominee Dilip Ghosh was heckled allegedly by Trinamul workers at a booth in Keshiari.

The polling couldn’t start at the booth as central forces didn’t arrive. Trinamul block president Pabitra Sil allegedly asked the presiding officer to open the booth without the central forces. When Ghosh arrived around 8am, the Trinamul workers did not allow him to enter the booth and allegedly heckled him.

Trinamul leader Sil was arrested later on charges of threatening the presiding officer.

Around 12.30pm, when Ghosh reached a booth in Mohanpur to check allegations of false voting, alleged Trinamul workers hurled bricks at his car. The rear windshield of the vehicle was shattered. Ghosh, the Bengal BJP president, was also heckled at Rampura and Solmonpur villages.

Ghosh said: “Trinamul is getting violent because the party knows it is going to lose the polls.”

Trinamul’s West Midnapore district president Ajit Maity said the BJP had brought in hired goons from outside to terrorise voters. “Common people resisted them,” he added. 

Women queue up for voting at a booth in Bhagabanpur.
Women queue up for voting at a booth in Bhagabanpur. Picture by Jahangir Badsa

Where: Pankhai village in Khejuri, East Midnapore

What happened: BJP worker Gopal Purakayastha, 40, was severely beaten up by a gang of youths outside a booth around 3.30pm. BJP sources claimed that Trinamul supporters were not allowing voters to exercise their franchise. Two women who tried to save Purakayastha were also injured. Five persons have been admitted to the Contai Subdivisonal Hospital.

Where: Bagha village in Tamluk, East Midnapore

What happened: Five persons were injured when Trinamul and BJP activists clashed with rods and sticks at 2pm.

Where: Kalabagan Primary School in Bankura Bishnupur

What happened: Central force personnel fired two rounds in the air and resorted to baton charge around 2.30pm on a mob that had gathered following an argument between a jawan and a voter in the queue.

Sources said the voter was not standing in the queue and the jawan allegedly hit him on the ear during the altercation. Soon, hundreds of villagers arrived at the booth and pelted the jawans with stones. Suddenly, a jawan fired two rounds in the air. None was injured in the firing.

Later reinforcements arrived and brought the situation under control. The accused jawan was replaced after the incident. 

A BJP worker injured in the shooting.
A BJP worker injured in the shooting. (Jahangir Badsa)

Where: Mohammedpur in Contai, East Midnapore.

What happened: Two BJP workers were injured when they were hit by bullets after an altercation with Trinamul workers over planting of party flags around 4am. Ananta Guchhait, 50, and Ranjit Maity, 28, have been admitted to the Tamluk Subdivisional Hospital.

Where: Kashipur, Purulia What happened: A central force jawan deployed at a booth was detained for allegedly molesting a 10-year-old girl on Sunday morning. Villagers locked up the booth demanding punishment for the jawan. The voting resumed after 90 minutes when police detained the jawan.

Where: Saltora in the Bankura Lok Sabha constituency

What happened: Alleged Trinamul workers ransacked the cars of Bankura BJP candidate Subhas Sarkar and a news channel around 2.30pm. Sarkar went to the area after some Trinamul workers had allegedly intimidated voters and beaten up two BJP workers.