Voting in three West Bengal Lok Sabha constituencies in the second phase on Thursday was marred by incidents of violence, including an attack on CPI(M) candidate Md Salim’s vehicle. The state recorded 75.27 per cent turnout.
Clashes erupted in Chopra Assembly segment when police used force to disperse a group of people who blocked the National Highway 31, claiming they were not allowed to vote. Crude bombs were reportedly lobbed at the police contingent after they had deployed tear gas.
“Police opened fire and RAF has been deployed in the area. The region is still simmering with tension,” a local said.
Sources told The Indian Express that a few people were not allowed to vote in Middapara and Dighi Colony, and their voting slips were allegedly snatched by some miscreants.
In Raiganj’s Goalpokhe, a journalist working with a news channel was allegedly beaten up by trouble mongers. He received serious injuries and has been admitted at a nearby hospital. In Jalpaiguri’s Malbazar, local BJP leaders accused the TMC of setting fire to their booth camp, an allegation denied by the ruling party.
In Islampur, CPI(M) candidate Md Salim’s vehicle was attacked and his driver was forced to flee. However, as per reports, Salim is still inside the booth.
“We have received complaints of disturbance from various areas. No trouble maker will be spared,” said a senior CEO official.
Meanwhile, there were reports of EVM malfunctioning causing delays at several places in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Raiganj constituencies. Deepa Dasmaunshi and Kanhaiya Lal Agarwal, both contesting on Congress and TMC tickets respectively from Raiganj constituency, couldn’t cast their vote on time due to technical glitches in EVMs.