Violence During Final Phase Voting in West Bengal: EVM Tossed Into Pond, Clashes Reported in Jadavpur

The final phase of polling for the nine Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal took a grim turn as reports of violence and unrest surfaced from various areas. Incidents of clashes between political supporters, allegations of booth capturing, and the throwing of an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) into a pond have marred the electoral process.


Clashes in Bhangar:

The Satuliya area in Bhangar, within the Jadavpur constituency near Kolkata, became a hotspot for clashes between supporters of the Indian Secular Front (ISF) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)]. These clashes resulted in several injuries among ISF members and were aggravated by the presence of homemade bombs.



EVM Tossed Into Pond:

In Kultali, South 24 Parganas district, an angry mob stormed into polling stations and seized an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), which was later thrown into a nearby pond. This incident occurred allegedly due to the barring of certain polling agents from entering the booths, prompting local residents to retaliate by discarding the EVM.


Response from Authorities:

The Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal confirmed the incident, stating that the necessary action had been initiated. Fresh EVMs and papers were provided to ensure the uninterrupted polling process in all affected booths.



Tensions in Sandeshkhali and Canning:

Tensions flared in Sandeshkhali under the Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency, with local women armed with bamboo sticks protesting against alleged threats from Trinamool Congress (TMC) activists and state police. Similar clashes erupted in Canning, South 24 Parganas district, between TMC and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters.


Allegations and Accusations:

Political leaders, including the Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, and BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya, accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of using party goons and state police to intimidate voters. Videos of the protests were shared, highlighting the volatile situation on the ground.



Prominent Candidates and Security Measures:

Prominent candidates in this phase include Abhishek Banerjee from the Trinamool Congress, Rekha Patra from the BJP, and Sujan Chakraborty from the CPI(M). The polling is being conducted under heavy security, with a significant presence of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and quick response teams (QRTs) deployed statewide to address any tensions.




The incidents of violence and unrest during the final phase of voting in West Bengal are a cause for concern, highlighting the challenges in ensuring a peaceful electoral process. The authorities must take swift action to address the grievances of all parties involved and uphold the integrity of the democratic process.


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