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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

TMC, NPP supporters clash in Meghalaya

Nine persons were sent to hospital in Phulbari, all of them were discharged after examination

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 09.02.23, 03:23 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Supporters of the ruling National People’s Party and the Opposition Trinamul Congress clashed on Tuesday night in poll-bound Meghalaya’s West Garo Hills district, prompting the administration to launch an area domination exercise by central armed police forces to ensure peace.

Meghalaya goes to the polls on February 27.

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According to a report of the West Garo Hills district election officer submitted to the office of the state chief electoral officer, a clash took place between supporters of the two parties at Charbatapara village under the Phulbari Assembly constituency around 10.45pm.

Nine persons were sent to a hospital in Phulbari. All of them were discharged after examination, the report said, adding one of them — Nojrul Hoque — had been advised further treatment as his injury was close to his eye.

“The clash took place when Habibur Zaman (an NPP leader) and his supporters were passing through the village and a few Trinamul supporters hit their vehicle...,” the report further said.

The police have registered two cases and arrested 16 of the 125 accused/suspects, an officer said.

Trinamul in a statement alleged several party workers were attacked by NPP members who also vandalised the premises where a party meeting was underway. “NPP workers thrashed and barged into the meeting premises, creating a ruckus. That left Nozrul Hoque, 59, injured,” a Trinamul leader said.

Sources said the clash had been triggered by the eagerness of both parties to establish dominance in Phulbari.

An election commission official said the SDO and the SDPO, along with BDOs, had been deployed in the area after the incident, while the CAPF was undertaking intensive area domination.

Most observers feel the Garo Hills seats could see a keen contest between the NPP and Trinamul.

While the NPP is led by chief minister Conrad Sangma, Trinamul’s campaign is being helmed by leader of the Opposition and former chief minister Mukul Sangma.

The five Garo Hills districts have 24 of the 60 Assembly seats while WestGaro Hills district has 11 seats.

Mukul Sangma, a veteran Congress hand, switched over to Trinamul in 2021 with 12 of 17 Congress MLAs, making Trinamul the principal Opposition party. It had no MLA of its own till then.

Trinamul’s fortunes will depend a lot on how Mukulcan impact voters in case of a multi-cornered contest. Trinamul, the Congress and the BJP are contesting all 60 seats, while the NPP’s count is 57. The last day of withdrawal of nomination is February 10.

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