The State of West Bengal has witnessed several incidents of violence and vandalism during the ongoing Vidhan Sabha polls. Following the violence witnessed during the 4th phase, the Election Commission had tightened the security arrangements. Despite the heightened security measures, several instances of unrest, violence and chaos have now surfaced during the 5th phase of polls on Saturday (April 17).
Bombing at BJP leader’s residence, live bomb still undefused
On Friday night, the residence of the BJP booth President was targetted by miscreants in the Suguna area of the Kalyani Vidhan Sabha constituency. Zee 24 ghanta showed visuals of the wall that was destroyed due to a bomb attack at the house during the night time. The BJP booth President, along with his family members, were vacated from the house in the morning and the area has been cordoned off.
Despite more than 12 hours since the bombing incident, a live crude bomb (seen in red) was seen in the building that had not been defused. Locals have informed concerned police officials about the matter, and a bomb squad has been summoned.
BJP polling agent goes missing, party accuses TMC workers of abduction
On Saturday, BJP’s polling agent named Bhanu Bhuiya went mysteriously missing in Minakhan block in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. According to BJP, he had gone to the polling station in the morning and was physically stopped from entering the booth by Trinamool Congress workers. Since then, the party had been unable to trace his whereabouts. The Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the ruling dispensation of abducting its polling agent and has decided to write to the Election Commission about the development.
BJP polling agent brutally assaulted by Trinamool Congress goons
In another incident, a BJP polling agent named Ajit Dhar was reportedly assaulted by a TMC worker as he went to cast his vote in the Haroa constituency in the North 24 Parganas district. According to a report by Republic TV, the Trinamool Congress goons allegedly grabbed the BJP leader’s shirt and threatened him against voting for BJP. BJP alleged that the party agent suffered a fracture on his head due to the assault. According to them, Ajit Dhar was attacked with sticks by TMC workers, causing injury to the head.
The BJP worker has been admitted to the Bardhaman Medical College for treatment. The TMC worker asked the BJP agent where he was going and demanded to know why he ‘took money from the Trinamool government during Cyclone Amphan. This led to a heated exchange of words between the BJP polling agent and the TMC goons. According to another BJP polling agent Subrata Ghosh said that he witnessed the assault on Dhar by TMC workers, and after the incident, he could not enter the polling station.
Shops belonging to BJP workers vandalised by TMC, agent attacked
News 18 Bangla reported that the shops belonging to the BJP workers have been vandalised amidst the 5th phase of Vidhan Sabha polls in the Gayeshpur in the Kalyani Vidhan Sabha constituency. According to the BJP, the attack has been orchestrated by the Trinamool Congress. On receiving information, the police reached the spot to pacify the heated situation between TMC and BJP workers. Meanwhile, a BJP polling agent was also stopped from entering the polling station.
“First, they stopped our booth agent from going to the polling station. After we reached the spot, we were able to facilitate his entry. In the morning, they had even thrashed our polling agent. Through booth capturing, the TMC goons want to choke the democratic process of voting,” said BJP candidate from Kalyani Ambika Rai.
TMC workers accused of intimidating voters, security personnel take matter into own hands
On Saturday, the BJP and the alliance of Left-Congress-ISF have accused the Trinamool Congress workers of intimidating voters and preventing them from casting their votes in the Haripur area of the Santipur Vidhan Sabha constituency. Following multiple allegations by electorates and political parties alike against the ruling dispensation, the central armed forces have dispatched a team to reassure eligible voters to exercise their right without threats to their life.
Keeping in mind the violence witnessed in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar in the 4th phase of elections, the deployment of security personnel in Haripur has been increased. In visuals shared by ABP News, it can be seen that the security personnel are in close vicinity to the polling booth to avert any untoward incident.
Ruckus breaks out between TMC and BJP supporters, woman slammed to the ground
A ruckus broke out between the Trinamool Congress and BJP supporters in Salt Lake in the Shantinagar area. The TMC lobby has alleged that the situation in the area deteriorated following the visit of BJP candidate Sabyasachi Dutta. The BJP has accused the ruling dispensation of stopping them from casting their votes. During the ruckus, the two groups hurled stones and bricks at each other causing severe injuries. Men from two sides were seen throwing punches and a woman was mercilessly beaten after being slammed on the ground.
Independent candidate chases TMC workers with a gun
Amidst the 5th phase of polls, an independent candidate was seen chasing TMC workers with a gun in the Chakdaha (Vidhan Sabha constituency). The accused has been identified as one Koushik Bhowmick. He had alleged that the Trinamool Congress workers had attacked a BJP agent and threw a gun at him. He claimed to have picked it up to submit it to the police station.
While chasing the TMC workers, the weapon fell down and was seized by police officials. Later in the day, Bhowmick was apprehended from his residence. In a video shared by ABP News, he was seen being shoved into a police van by security personnel while he and his wife resisted against it. After much resistance, the police finally pushed him into the vehicle and drove him away.