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15 May 2017

Bombs and bullets rule over ballots

A boy runs with a brick to force open the door of a booth that was allegedly jammed by Trinamul members in ward 10 of Domkal municipality in Murshidabad district on Sunday. Picture by Chayan Majumdar 
Compiled by: Pronab Mondal, Alamgir Hossain and Kousik Sen, TT:   Incidents of violence reported from Pujali, Domkal and Raiganj municipalities during the voting on Sunday.
PUJALI
Place: Ward 9. 
Incident: Bullets were fired in front of a booth and polling officers took shelter inside a toilet. The attackers, allegedly Trinamul supporters, entered the booth and broke the EVM. A homeguard fled when he saw the attackers. The men went on a rampage inside the booth and the police present there allegedly remained mute spectators.
Complaint: The CPM and its ally Congress said Trinamul was behind the rampage. 
Rebuttal: Trinamul said the CPM, the Congress and the BJP, who joined hands to defeat the ruling party, were behind the attack. 
Place: Ward 10.
Incident: Bombs were hurled indiscriminately. Young men were seen roaming in the area riding motorcycles with sticks. When spotted by cameramen of news channels, two youths riding a two-wheeler tried to flee but fell on the road. Crude bombs rolled out of a carton they were carrying when the biker lost balance. Before fleeing, the men identified themselves as BJP activists 
Complaint: The BJP said Trinamul’s armed men were spreading terror among voters. 
Rebuttal: A Trinamul leader said the BJP’s men were spreading terror. 
State election commissioner Amarendra Kumar Singh
Place: Ward 4
Incident: A journalist was attacked by a group of 50 men at Indiraghat where armed men had assembled to capture booths. 
Complaint: Sarkar lodged a police complaint, saying he was beaten up with sticks and his head was hit by a piece of brick. The reporter couldn’t identify the attackers. 
Rebuttal: All parties denied involvement.
DOMKAL
Place: Ward 12
Incident: Armed men allegedly entered a booth at Muchiapara around 9.30am, held polling officers at gun-point and took away the controlling unit of the EVM.
Complaint: The Congress was behind the incident, said Trinamul.
Rebuttal: Congress said Trinamul had spread terror.
Place: Ward 20
Incident: Armed men hurled bombs indiscriminately and entered three booths from where EVMs were looted. 
Complaint: The Congress alleged Trinamul goons had looted the EVMs.
Rebuttal: Trinamul said the Congress was behind the snatching of the EVMs. 
Place: Wards 8,15,16,18 and 19
Incident: Gun-totting men were seen roaming and bombs were hurled. The polling agent of Opposition was allegedly driven out of a booth in ward 8 and supporters of the CPM and the Congress put up a road block on Domkal-Behrampore Road in protest. 
Complaint: The Congress alleged the armed men were outsiders and had worked for Trinamul. Police were also accused of sitting idle. 
Rebuttal: Trinamul said it was Congress activists who spread terror.
Place: Ward 2
Incident: Cameraman AB Rozario of ABP Ananda was thrashed and kicked in front of Haridoba Notunpara Primary School. The attackers snatched his camera and forced him to leave. With the help of police, Rozario returned and got his camera back.
Complaint: Rozario said the attackers had claimed that they were from Trinamul.
Rebuttal: Trinamul denied the charge. 
RAIGANJ
Place: Wards 26 and 27.
Incident: Bombs were hurled in front of booths in the wards from where Congress MLA Mohit Sengupta and another party leader Pabitra Chanda were contesting. Both the leaders had to take shelter at their supporters’ houses.
Complaint: Sengupta alleged that police had acted at the behest of Trinamul and allowed outsiders sent by Trinamul to carry out criminal activities.
Rebuttal: Trinamul said no supporter was involved. 
Place: Ward 7
Incident: Around 10.30am, a group of men started firing indiscriminately and entered a booth. They ransacked the booth and broke the EVM. The local people chased them and the gun-toting men fled riding motorcycles. Around 4pm, the youths came back and resumed firing.
Complaint: Opposition parties alleged the hooliganism was by Trinamul men.
Rebuttal: Trinamul denied the allegation.
Place: Ward 18.
Incident: Youths asked Left and Congress voters to leave a booth at Coronation High School. Some outsiders entered the booth and terrorised voters. Police allegedly did not interfere. 
Complaint: Congress alleged goons backed by Trinamul were behind the trouble.
Rebuttal: Fearing a defeat, Congress created trouble, said Trinamul.
 
Place: Ward 24

Incident: Youths lobbed bombs at a booth in Collegepara twice. 
Complaint: The Congress alleged Trinamul-backed goons wanted to scare voters away. 
Rebuttal: Trinamul rejected the allegation.

Voting percentage 
Pujali: 80. 59 per cent
Domkal: 82.8 per cent
Raiganj: 80 per cent 

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