Election in the seven Assembly constituencies in Kolkata passed off peacefully making the Opposition’s apprehension of violence to be false.
Elaborate security arrangement by the Kolkata Police played a key role in maintaining peace in the area where people went out to cast their votes fearlessly.
Jawans of the Central Force led by officers of the city police reached the spots soon after getting information of gatherings and arrested 65 people including an election agent of an independent candidate on charges of attempting to create violence during the elections. Arrests of these people before they could manage to turn the situation worse, had been effective in maintaining the law and order.
Since morning people were found going out to vote braving the scorching sun. At many booths long queues of voters were found as people had preferred to cast their votes as early as possible to avoid coming out in extreme heat. The CPI(M) and Congress supporters had raised allegations of harassment in two to three booths in Entally and Maniktala Assembly constituencies. The election officials, however, claimed that the poll process was quite normal in those booths.
Jawans of Central Force along with the police were found taking immediate action against the people who had gathered to create trouble at Beliaghata. They started fleeing, apprehending getting caught. Police had chased them and arrested 47 people on charges of gathering to create violence.
However, there were some allegations and counter-allegations mainly in Beliaghata and some parts of Entally. The police had kept a close watch on Trinamool Congress leader Anwar Khan as per the direction of the Election Commission and two policemen were constantly accompanying him. The situation turned worse for Khan when allegation of passing derogatory comment against EC was raised against him. Based on the allegation, the EC directed the top brass of the Kolkata Police to arrest him. Khan, who was ill, went to the residence of a relative at Pikepara. Police had, however, initiated a search for Khan as he was not in his home. He was later arrested from the relative’s house at Pikepara.
Some people from the area staged a demonstration in front of the minister of state for urban development Babul Supriyo when he went to cast his vote at Arya Kanya Vidyalaya along with his father and mother on Bidhan Sarani at Jorasanko. They protested against bringing so many people along with him when he came to cast his vote. Supriyo later chased and caught one of the protestors. The person was arrested by the police.
The people again started shouting “go back” slogan when he came out of booth after casting his vote.