Voting in 7 constituencies concludes peacefully
Kolkata: Except for a few stray clashes, the election in seven Lok Sabha seats passed off peacefully in Bengal.
Arif Aftab, Chief Electoral Officer, said the polls were peaceful, barring some stray incidents and the poll percentage was 73.97 till 5 pm when many people were found to be standing in long queues to exercise their franchise which indicates that the polling percentage is likely to go up.
The Parliament constituencies where polling was held in the 5th phase of the seven-phase election are Bongaon, Barrackpore, Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore, Hooghly and Arambag and the polling percentage in these seats are 76.18, 71.28, 67.59, 77.57, 77.31, 76.14 and 75.73 respectively.
As many as 5 FIRs were registered, out of which two were in Dhaniakhali and two in Mohonpur including one against BJP candidate from Barrackpore Arjun Singh. Twelve people including five media persons were injured in different incidents and five vehicles were damaged including three belonging to the press.
An FIR was lodged against a person who had thrown an Electronic Voting Machine causing severe damage to it in Dhaniakhali in Hooghly. The Presiding Officer later lodged an FIR.
Around 1 pm, Locket Chatterjee, BJP candidate from Hooghly, along with her party supporters went inside the booth and one of them took away the EVM and threw it on the floor alleging that some people were casting false votes there.
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.
In Noapara, BJP candidate from Barrackpore Arjun Singh got involved in a scuffle between two groups of youths. Later, the police rescued him.
Singh fell on the ground while chasing some outsiders at Bhatpara. In Mohanpur, the locals did not allow Singh to get down from his vehicle. They alleged that voting was being held peacefully when Singh's supporters tried to create trouble. He also could not get down from his vehicle at Amdanga where people shouted "Go back" slogans. They alleged that Singh had gone there to create trouble.
Prasun Banerjee, TMC candidate from Howrah, was allegedly assaulted by the jawans of the Central Forces in front of a booth. There was a scuffle between two groups when the Central Force personnel resorted to lathi-charge to quell the mob. They reportedly beat up Banerjee after failing to recognise him.
The Election Commission in the evening took up the matter with the IG, BSF.
At Hingli in Bongaon, a police constable along with another person got injured in a bomb-throwing incident. They were rushed to a hospital where they were released after treatment.
After reports of violence and the death of a voter during the previous phase, the EC deployed Central Forces at all the polling stations in the state.
Altogether, 578 companies of Central Forces have been deployed to assist the state police.