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Violence and protests mark polling in Tripura


Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): In the midst of violence by alleged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) backed goons on Thursday, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and workers gheroed the East Agartala Police Station in the afternoon to protest the p inaction and incidents of blatant rigging in many boots. Tripura state steering committee convener Subal Bhowmik protested in front of the East Agartala thana and said, “There has been complete loot of votes going on in Agartala. Voters were not allowed to cast their votes. Our candidates have been brutally beaten in most of the seats. There is absolute reign of terror and the police and the local administration have been mute spectators.”

The TMC leaders alleged that in Ward 3, the polling agent was threatened, in Ward 11 the polling agents were not allowed to enter polling stations, while Ward 51 candidate Tapan Biswas was hurt in the head and eye by the goons. There have also been complaints of malfunctioning EVMs at many booths.

In the midst of polling, the Supreme Court directed the print and electronic media be given unhindered access to cover the poll proceedings.

The SC also ordered the Union home ministry to arrange for additional 2 companies of CAPF to control the situation and hold free polls.

West Bengal transport minister said, “Democracy is being killed in Tripura today. The TMC will give a fitting reply to this. Most important is that the TMC has made its impact in the minds and hearts of Tripura voters.”

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, sudip Roy Barman went around his constituency looking after the violence-hit candidates and said, “This is unexpected. The way the ‘outsiders’ have caused havoc in the polling process in my area, is sad. This could have been avoided. The outsiders have been intimidating people. I will write to the highest authority on this.”

The BJP MLA refused to name anyone for the violence but it was clear who was he hinting at.