Udayavni Special

Stray violence marks 6th phase of WB polls; 37.27% turnout recorded till 11 am


PTI, Apr 22, 2021, 12:09 PM IST

Kolkata: Stray incidents of violence were on Thursday reported from various parts of Bengal where voting is underway in the sixth phase of assembly elections, but the overall poll situation was largely peaceful with 37.27 per cent turnout recorded till 11 am, an EC official said.

Elections, which began at 7 am, are being held in 43 assembly seats – 17 in North 24 Parganas district, nine each in Nadia and Uttar Dinajpur, and eight in Purba Bardhaman.

Long queues were seen outside most of the polling booths with security personnel asking everyone to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, amid the surge in infections everywhere, the official said.

In Uttar Dinajpur’s Chopra area, shots were reportedly fired after clashes broke out between activists of the TMC and the BJP over allegations of heckling by agents of a polling booth. Both the parties denied having used any firearm and blamed the opposition for the violence.

The office of the CEO has sought a report on the incident from the local administration.

In Raiganj, sources in the TMC said one of the ruling party activists sustained serious injuries after he was allegedly stabbed by BJP workers. The saffron party, however, denied the allegations.

Sporadic violence was also reported from the Bijpur constituency in North 24 Parganas, where TMC and BJP supporters clashed with each other outside polling booths.

Both the parties accused each other of trying to rig votes. Two supporters of the TMC and three of the BJP were reportedly injured in the clashes.

A huge contingent of security forces was rushed to the troubled areas to control the situation.

In the Halisahar area of the Naihati constituency, the saffron party alleged that bombs were hurled at the residence of a local BJP leader. His mother and younger brother are known to have suffered injuries. The TMC and the BJP traded charges against each other.

Film director-turned-TMC candidate Raj Chakraborty was gheraoed in the Barrackpore constituency by BJP supporters, who accused him of influencing voters.

Chakraborty denied the allegations.

In the Amdanga constituency, country-made crude bombs were recovered by police personnel.

Over 1.03 crore voters are set to decide the political fate of 306 candidates in this phase.

As many as 1,071 companies of central forces have been deployed to ensure free and fair polling, officials said.

The voting exercise is underway in 14,480 polling stations of the 43 assembly segments.

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