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Nearly 74% voting registered in Bengal

Kolkata: Apart from a few stray incidents of clashes, including assault on journalists, damage to vehicles, cases of intimidation and sporadic violence, polls in seven constituencies of the state concluded peacefully in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Monday.

Chief Electoral Officer Arif Aftab said the polls were peaceful, barring some stray incidents and the poll percentage was 73.97 till 5 pm.

Polling was highest in Uluberia (77.57 percent) followed by Bongaon (76.18), Hooghly (76.14), Arambag (75.73), Serampore (73.31), Barrackpore (71.28) and Howrah (67.59). In the last Lok Sabha polls in 2014, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress had won all these seven seats.

Five FIRs were registered, out of which two were lodged in Dhaniakhali and two in Mohonpur including one against BJP candidate from Barrackpore Arjun Singh. Twelve persons including five media persons were injured in different incidents and five vehicles were damaged including three belonging to the press.

In Noapara, Arjun Singh got involved in a scuffle between two groups of youths and later the police had to rescue him. Singh fell on the ground while chasing some outsiders at Bhatpara. In Mohanpur, the locals did not allow him to get down from his vehicle. He could not get down from his vehicle at Amdanga too where people shouted "Go back" slogans, alleging that Singh had gone there to create trouble.

An FIR was lodged against a person who is said to be close to BJP candidate from Hooghly Locket Chatterjee after he threw an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) on the floor inside booth number 159, causing severe damage to it in Dhaniakhali. Trinamool activists and polling officials accused her of creating disturbance in the area.

In Tarakeshwar Assembly seat, a Presiding Officer was issued a show-cause notice after a person was seen helping another to cast his vote. In Howrah's Panchla, the Presiding Officer lodged an FIR after he was allegedly beaten up by two polling agents.

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