Violence marks second-phase Lok Sabha polls in Bengal, CPM candidate Md Salim's car attacked
Kolkata, Apr 18 (IBNS/UNI): Reports of violence are coming in from several places in Trinamool Congress-ruled West Bengal on the second phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections.
While CPM candidate Md. Salim's car was attacked with stones when he was on his way to cast his vote at Patagora of Raigunj constituency, violence erupted near a booth in Girpar under the same constituency. In Raigung, Salim is up against Congress' Deepa Dasmunsi.
Voters have in Girpar and Chopra under the Darjeeling constituency blocked roads claiming they had not been allowed to vote. In Darjeeling, police had to fire in the air to disperse the mob.
In Bengal, apart from Raigunj and Darjeeling polling is also taking place in the Jalpaiguri seat.
Villagers in Raigunj alleged booth capturing by ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). Protesters blocking highway were lathi-charged by security forces. Villagers are alleging violence and intimidation.
BJP candidate from Raiganj constituency Debasree Chaudhuri alleged TMC workers are trying to capture booths at Raiganj Coronation High School.
"They were campaigning among Muslims there. This isn't election campaign," she said.
Protests erupted in Chopra under Raigunj constituency after villagers took a person to the police. Villagers alleged that the person, said to be a Trinamool Congress supporter, was obstructing them from casting their votes. The villagers were being led by policemen to a booth after they blocked NH31, alleging they were not allowed to cast their votes.
While they were being led to the polling station, the villagers stopped on the way and said they don’t have any faith in the state police and began demanding that central forces escort them.
The voting process was halted at upper Bagdogra's 25/47 booth under Darjeeling constituency after a black tape was found on the BJP symbol in an EVM.
The BJP won the Darjeeling seat on the last two general elections by supporting the Gorkhaland movement,
Accusing the state's Trinamool government of disrupting polling, BJP leader Babul Supriyo tweeted: "The the Murderer of Democracy sitting as the CM of Bengal, no matter how much of Central Forces @ECISVEEP (Election Commission) deploys, contaminated Bengal Police will disrupt Free&Fair Polls•Vote shud be conducted after imposing Presidents Rule, throwing out the #TMchhi Govt."
Till noon, around 34 per cent polling had been reported in Raigunj, 30 per cent in Darjeeling and 36 per cent in Jalpaiguri.
Tea garden workers were among those who turned out in strength in the Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri constituencies, while Muslim community members were seen in good numbers at the prestigious Raiganj seat in the early hours.