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regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 April 2024

Bengal Polls 2021: ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant by polling official

The EC said it had received 1,992 complaints from various political parties during the day and addressed all of them

Our Bureau Published 23.04.21, 01:40 AM
A jawan keeps a watch over voters during the polling at a booth in Burdwan on Thursday.

A jawan keeps a watch over voters during the polling at a booth in Burdwan on Thursday. Munshi Muklesur Rahaman

The sixth phase of the Bengal Assembly polls involving 43 seats spread across four districts passed off relatively peacefully on Thursday, barring a few incidents.

The Election Commission of India said it had received 1,992 complaints from various political parties during the day and addressed all of them.

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Some of the major incidents of the day:

Police firing

At least two persons were injured when state police allegedly opened fire to control violent BJP supporters outside the polling station No 35 at Ranaghat in the Bagdah constituency of North 24-Parganas district on Thursday afternoon.

Sources said the police had to resort to a lathi-charge to disperse a mob gathered to protest the vandalism of their tent. However, the police later opened fire when the villagers allegedly became violent. Two persons — Budho Santra (65) and his nephew Mrityunjoy Santra (25) — who were returning from the field suffered bullet injuries.

They were rushed to Bagdah hospital. BJP’s Bagdah candidate Biswajit Das alleged the police had unleashed panic among voters in a planned manner so that they didn’t turn up at the polling station to help the ruling party win the seat.

Firing by miscreants

Two Trinamul supporters were injured when a group of armed miscreants with suspected Trinamul link hurled bombs and fired indiscriminately outside Tangra Buniyadi Vidyalaya polling premises (polling station No. 79, 79A, 80 and 80A) of Ashok Nagar constituency in North-24 Parganas on Thursday afternoon.

The injured — Manirul Mondal and Kabirul — suffered bullet injuries to the legs and were admitted to Barasat state general hospital.

Sources said tension flared up when BJP candidate Tanuja Chakraborty arrived near the booth. The miscreants ransacked a number of police vehicles and hurled a dozen of crude bombs close to the polling station, unleashing panic in the area.

A quick response team comprising state and central forces later brought the situation under control. Trinamul candidate Narayan Goswami, alleged that it was the central force personnel who had opened fire and injured the two party supporters. The EC ruled out the allegation of firing by the central force.

‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant

Trinamul workers launched agitation after a polling official chanted “Jai Shri Ram” inside the booth set up at Gobindapur GSP Primary school in the Purbasthali South Assembly segment in Burdwan East district.

Sources said the official had chanted “Jai Shri Ram” after the mock poll had been completed successfully around 6.30am.

Trinamul lodged a complaint with the EC against the official. EC officials said the polling personal had been removed from his duty immediately and an explanation sought from him.

Voter cards snatched

Trinamul supporters allegedly snatched away electoral photo identity cards of some Indian Secular Front activists at Amadanga in North 24-Parganas.

The ISF alleged that when its supporters were on their way to cast their votes, the “Trinamul goons” snatched their cards to prevent them from exercising their franchise. Officials said proper steps were initiated soon after the complaints were lodged. Steps were initiated to ensure that the voters can cast their votes.

Firing after polls

A group of miscreants allegedly backed by Trinamul fired pellets at the house of an election agent of the BJP at Nangtagach in the Chopra Assembly constituency of North Dinajpur on Thursday evening after the polling got over.

Two women and a man of the agent’s family have suffered injuries and have been rushed to the block health centre in Dalua.

Assault by jawans

At least three incidents of excesses by central force jawans were reported in North Dinajpur.

While a booth level officer was beaten up on the polling station premises by the jawans though he was carrying a government identity card, the CAPF personnel rained batons on villagers at two other places.

The baton-charges have led to protests at those places. For the assault of the BLO, a complaint has been filed with police as political parties, barring the BJP, have again accused the CAPF of resorting to highhandedness.

Fingers chopped

Kanak Biswas, a polling agent of Trinamul, lost two fingers of the left arm when armed men with suspected BJP links attacked him while he was returning home after the voting.

The incident occurred at Asan Nagar in Nadia’s Bhimpur.

The victim’s wife Chaina is a member of the local gram panchayat. Police said Biswas had been attacked at a deserted place with a sharp weapon.

“He tried to resist the attack with left hand when two of his fingers were chopped of,” Trinamul block president Biswajit Das said. Biswas was rushed to Nadia district hospital in Krishnagar.

The BJP has denied the charges.

Police threatened

A Trinamul leader at Ausgram in East Burdwan, Arup Mirdhya, allegedly threatened a police officer that action would be taken against him when his party comes to power after May 2.

He asked the officer whether they were trying to create another incident like Sitalkuchi at Pratappur village in the Ausgram Assembly segment.

Polling agent hit

A Trinamul polling agent, Jagannath Mondal, was beaten inside a booth in Barogram (booth no 9) in Mangolkot Assembly segment in East Burdwan around 11.30am.

Trinamul alleged the BJP had attacked the agent without any provocation and the saffron party was trying to take complete control of the booth.

Officials said a complaint had been lodged and the probe was on.

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