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Sporadic violence, alleged booth captures mark fifth phase of Bengal polls

Polling was being held in 45 seats in North 24 Parganas, Purba Bardhaman and Nadia in south Bengal, and Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts in the north.

Published: 17th April 2021 01:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th April 2021 08:57 AM   |  A+A-

Voters stand in a queue to cast their vote at a polling station during fifth phase of State Assembly Election at Salt Lake, in Kolkata. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

KOLKATA: The fifth-phase of West Bengal Assembly elections witnessed sporadic violence on Saturday. A Trinamool Congress supporter was injured when an alleged BJP worker opened fire in Shantipur Assembly constituency in Nadia district. Till 5 pm, 78.36 per cent voting was recorded. The highest 81.73 per cent of turnout was registered in Jalpaiguri district, followed by Purba Bardhaman (81.72 per cent), Nadia (81.57 per cent), North 24 Parganas (74.83 per cent), Darjeeling (74.31 per cent) and Kalimpong (69.56 per cent), EC officials said.

In Chakdah constituency, an independent candidate was seen walking with an improvised firearm in front of police personnel. He finally dropped the weapon alleging that a TMC worker hurled the firearm at him and he was walking towards the police officials to handover the weapon.

Voters stand in queue at Santipur in Nadia district on Saturday | PTI

In Bidhannagar constituency, where two incumbent MLAs, Trinamool’s Sujit Bose and BJP’s Sabsyachi Dutta, who defected to the saffron camp from the ruling party, are contesting, a pitched battle between the supporters of the two rival groups broke out. Both the groups scuffled and pelted stones at each other. Dutta’s followers alleged that TMC supporters were blocking the electorate residing in Shantinagar area from casting their votes, while the ruling party’s activists accused their rivals of bringing outsiders to polling booths. In Gayeshpur in Kalyani constituency, a BJP supporter was injured when a crude bomb exploded. In protest, the supporters of the saffron camp put up roadblocks in the area.

A newly married couple after casting
their vote in Nadia on Saturday | PTI

The residents of a village in Deganga constituency alleged that personnel of central forces opened fire in the air when they spotted them sitting in a mango grove, around 500 metre from the nearest polling booth. Sources in the Election Commission, however,  said there was no incident of firing in the air by the central forces personnel.

BJP’s candidate in Kamarhati constituency, Raju Banerjee was injured when some TMC supporters hurled bricks targeting his vehicle.

He received cuts on his hands and the windshield of his car was smashed.BJP’s vice president in West Bengal Jay Prakash Majumdar said the election was overall peaceful other than a few incidents of violence.

TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh alleged the supporters of the BJP intimidated TMC cadres at many places and the central forces stood as mute spectators. The CPI(M) raised allegation of terror spread by both BJP and TMC supporters so that its voters could not turn up at the polling booths.



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