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Sixteen arrested on preventive charges during bypolls in Tripura: Police

Though the ruling BJP denies allegations of violence and attributes them to the Opposition’s ‘fear of defeat’, police say elderly people and journalists were attacked during polling hours on Thursday.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: June 24, 2022 10:01:50 pm
People wait in a queue at a polling station in Agartala. (Photo: PTI)

A day after four Assembly constituencies voted in bypolls in Tripura, police said on Friday that 16 people were arrested for their involvement in attempted electoral offences.

The police statement comes in the wake of the Opposition’s allegations about workers of the ruling BJP resorting to hooliganism before and during the polling in the Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar segments on Thursday.

Though the BJP denied the allegations and attributed them to the Opposition’s “fear of imminent defeat”, the police said elderly people and journalists were attacked during polling hours. “Total 16 persons were arrested here under preventive sections for involvement in attempted electoral offences. However, no complaint has been lodged by any presiding officer or returning officer so far. A few instances of atrocities by political rowdies on aged people, including media people, have been noticed on social media. But no complaint has been received by police in this regard from anyone for taking specific investigation,” the statement issued by assistant inspector-general (law and order) Jyotishman Das Chowdhury said.

The statement further said that no report of violence or intimidation was received after the elections, but added that police patrolling continued after the polls for maintaining peace and tranquillity.

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While stating that the voting process was peaceful barring “some instances of reported intimidation to the voters at a few places under six Agartala and eight Town Bardowali constituencies and a stabbing incident”, the police said that Samir Saha, a policeman on leave, was stabbed with a paper cutter by a miscreant. The policeman cast his vote despite the attack.

“He sustained minor injuries on his abdomen and right-hand elbow and is undergoing treatment at the Agartala Government Medical College and Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital’s trauma centre. A specific case has been registered and stern action will be taken against the miscreants after identification,” the police said.

Voters wait in a queue at a polling center in Agartala. (Express photo by Debraj Deb)

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Manik Sarkar visited the policeman and condemned the attack saying it was cowardly to try to murder a policeman who was trying to cast his vote.

Several elderly people including cultural and social activists were allegedly prevented from turning up at the polling centres as well. People who could not produce their identity cards were removed from queues outside polling centres by security personnel.

The CPM has sought repolling at 22 booths–six in Agartala, 11 in Town Bardowali, where Chief Minister Manik Saha is the BJP candidate, and five in Surma. The Congress has also sought repolling at six booths in Agartala.

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First published on: 24-06-2022 at 10:01:28 pm

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