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Polling near-peaceful, 100% central forces in 5th phase: Bengal CEO


IANS Kolkata
The Election Commission (EC) on Monday said the fourth-phase Lok Sabha election in West Bengal was peaceful barring small incidents and 100 per cent central force coverage is likely in the coming phase.
Eight parliamentary constituencies -- Baharampur, Ranaghat, Krishnanagar, Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur and Birbhum -- voted in the fourth phase of general elections.
"The fourth-phase election in West Bengal was more or less peaceful except for small incidents. In the next phase probably there would be 100 per cent central force coverage of the polling stations," state Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab told reporters here.
He revealed that there could be around 580 companies of central forces in the next phase. The final deployment would be gradually shared.
Aftab said there were incidents of firing in Parui and Dubrajpur of Birbhm district. The central police forces opened fire after some altercation broke out.
"In Nadia's Hanshkhali, there was an incident of bombing in which two people received minor injuries. The culprit has been apprehended. Immediate action was taken in all other cases," he said.
Regarding the way elections was conducted, Aftab said: "There were some complaints in two booths of Ketugram (under Burdwan East district) and one booth in Dharampur area of Ilambazar (under Birbhum district), where the Presiding Officer was immediately removed.
"Till now six FIRs have been filed and 145 preventive arrests made. Also, six bombs have been recovered in this phase," Additional Director General of Police Siddhi Nath Gupta said.
He mentioned that over the firing incident in Dubrajpur, one FIR was filed by some people against the central force officers calling it "unnecessary firing". The central forces have also filed a complaint with the police.
In all, five persons were injured in the fourth phase, Gupta said.
"Till evening, we received 630 complaints out of which 602 have been resolved," Aftab said.
Asked about Trinamool's Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal flouting EC surveillance and using phones, the CEO said: "As per EC's orders we had deployed Deputy Magistrate and Central Armed Police Force personnel."
Also, showcause notices have also been issued to BJP's Birbhum candidate Dudh Kumar Mondal and Krishnanagar candidate Kalyan Chaubey for using mobile phone inside the polling booth.
"There was no major issue of EVM malfunctioning. It was within permissible limits and the problems were immediately attended," Aftab added.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 9:56 PM IST

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