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'Central forces harassing voters on Amit Shah's orders'

Central forces harassing voters on Amit Shahs orders
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Baneswar (Cooch Behar): Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that CRPF personnel were harassing voters in the state at the behest of Union Home minister Amit Shah at a time when he is unable to take care of the security of the Central forces.

She expressed her confidence of a landslide victory in the seats where elections have already been held till the third phase "despite atrocities by the Central forces and a section of the top brass of the state police who have gone into an understanding with the BJP".

"The Central forces are doing all this according to the instructions of Amit Shah. I am also the state Home minister but I never give such instructions to the police. This comes when you have failed to save their lives at Pulwama, Sukma and several other places. What did the government (Centre) do when the jawans got killed in Sukma," Banerjee remarked, directing her party workers, mainly "mother and sisters", to handle the Central force jawans tactfully if they try to restrict villagers from casting their votes.

"One group of women should keep them restricted within one place if they come to terrorise people while the other group should go to cast their votes," she said.

Raising a question on the "law and order" situation in the state when the administration is functioning under the Election Commission (EC), she said: "Already 10 people have died in the run-up to the Assembly elections. It has never happened when the administration was run by me."

Continuing her attack on the EC and Central forces, the Trinamool Congress chief once again requested both the agencies to ensure a peaceful, free and fair election saying that she "respects the Central force jawans but not those who work as BJP's cadres and manhandles women. The public should be allowed to cast their votes. CRPF is doing nuisance (on the day of polls). They should not obstruct them from reaching the polling stations".

Taking a cue from the alleged incident of sexual assault on a minor girl at Tarakeswar, Banerjee urged the EC to ensure that no more instances of murder and atrocities on women by the jawans take place in the state.

The election in the fourth phase is going to take place on April 10 in 44 Assembly constituencies including 14 in North Bengal districts — Alipurduar and Cooch Behar. The remaining seats are in Howrah, Hooghly and South 24-Parganas.

In a bid to avoid any untoward incident in the fourth phase, she also made a demand to intensify naka checking and seal the areas bordering Assam, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

Banerjee also directed her district leaderships not to field "anyone weak or a person who may get sold to BJP" as polling agent at any booth. She also promised prizes for those who will give their best working as polling agents or guarding the strongrooms.

Banerjee on Wednesday addressed two back-to-back rallies in North Bengal to campaign for her party's candidates Binay Krishna Barman from Cooch Behar and Partha Pratim Roy from Sitalkuchi Assembly constituency. All the nine Assembly constituencies in Cooch Behar are going for polls on April 10.

Later in the evening, she held two other rallies in Baghajatin and Tollygunge in Kolkata.

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