Women and aged people were also being manhandling when they were on way to cast their votes in the district. Similar allegations were levelled against them on the day of the fifth phase election held
in Kolkata, South 24-Parganas and Hooghly on April 30.
Some Central Force jawans suddenly resorted to lathicharge finding some people gathering outside the 100 metre area of a polling booth at Bhowanipore in Haldia. Finding the situation turning violent Abdul Kader, Trinamool Congress councillor of ward number 14 of Haldia Municipality, intervened. The jawans didn’t pay heed to the repeated requests of stopping lathicharge and even beat up the councillor. He received fracture on his hand. The jawans claimed that they had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the mob. The incident led to panic in the area.
On Thursday morning the Central Force jawans noticed a gathering outside Booth number 94 which was housed in Janu Basan Sarva Siksha Kendra at Tamluk. According to the local people, the gathering was of the enthusiastic electorates and they came to cast their votes. But for certain reasons they had been waiting outside the booths when approached by the police. It led to an altercation.
Within a few minutes the on-duty jawans intervened to disperse the electorates. The situation turned worse when they retaliated saying that they came to cast their votes. The jawans resorted to lathicharge injuring many, including a Class V student.
Many people fell on the road apprehending getting beaten up by the jawans. The boy received a fracture on the knee of his right leg. The situation was such that his family members couldn’t rescue the body from the area for quite some time. Later, some local youths took the boy to hospital where he was treated and discharged. The incident led to discontent on the role played by the Central Force jawans and staged a demonstration protesting against them for creating trouble when the election was passing off peacefully in the area.
Allegations of creating unnecessary trouble by the jawans had cropped up in different parts of Khejuri. An elderly person was allegedly being beaten up allegedly by some jawans outside booth number 211 housed in Kadirabadchar Primary School. He was one of the electorates on whom the jawans had resorted to lathicharge when they were heading to cast their votes.
The women from the some parts of Khejuri have also alleged that they were being beaten up by the jawans. A woman voter from Khejuri said that the highhandedness of the jawans has crossed all limits on Thursday. There must be some local policemen patrolling the area to keep a check whether any local people are being harassed unnecessarily.
Ranajit Mondal Trinamool Congress candidate from Khejuri said: “Elections here has turned into a festival since morning. But with all respect to the Election Commission I would like to mention that jawans are taking certain steps which I feel is not needed.”
There were also reports of damaging camp offices of Trinamool Congress though those were set up outside 100 metre from the polling stations. The situation was such that the many electorates had feared coming out of their houses apprehended violence though there was no such trouble in any area during the election on Thursday.
In East Midnapore 238 company jawans were deployed to ensure free and fair elections. “The jawans were deployed to ensure a peaceful election. But what is the point of creating unnecessary panic among the electorates,” said Manoj Sadhukhan, a local resident.