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Youths clash, smash EVM, heckle candidate in Cooch Behar

IANS  |  Cooch Behar 

Stray incidents of violence were reported from West Bengal's constituency on Thursday in which an EVM was smashed and an opposition candidate was heckled and his car damaged.

Motorbike borne youths moved around in groups close to booths and clashes were reported between BJP and workers.

However, there were no fatalities, and nobody sustained any serious injury, with the special police observer describing polling as "peaceful and fair".

In Mathabahnaga, alleged Trinamool-backed miscreants heckled candidate and smashed the windshield of his vehicle after he arrived at the booth following allegations of false voting.

At Sitalkuchi, some women voters complained that they were being prevented from exercising their rights by Trinamool-backed miscreants, with the police remaining silent spectatorS. The Trinamool, however, denied the allegation.

However, bulk of the allegations and incidents of violence were reported from Dinhata assembly segment.

A TV grab showed a couple of injured booth level workers in Dinhata, and the ruling party blamed the for the violence.

Another serious incident took place at centre, where around 150-200 youths forced their way into a booth while polling was on.

They pushed aside the two armed state police personnel and the polling officials, picked up the EVM, VVPAT and other machines and smashed them into pieces. The mob left after damging the furniture.

The polling officials seemed panick-stricken hours after the incident.

"We told the boys not to break the machines and that if they had any grievances they could always ask for a repoll. But they paid no heed."

The two armed police personnel said they tried their best, but were vastly outnumbered. "Things happened so fast that despite our best efforts to protect the machines, we coudn't do anything," said one

The BJP blamed ruling Trinamool, which, however, held the saffron party responsible for the violence.

At booth in Dinhata, there was commotion after BJP candidate reached the polling premises on receiving complaints that outsiders were trying to rig the elections.

and BJP workers clashed at Dinhata's Rosmonda primary school booth, following allegations that the Trinamool workers were beating and driving away voters.

Trinamool district moved around in parts of the constituency supervising the party's

Ghosh lashed out against the central forces for exceeding their mandate, particularly for entering the polling booth when he was voting.

In Kolkata, said the commission has received reports of a "few isolated incidents" in

"We have received reports of a few isolated incidents in We are looking into all the allegations. We will take proper legal action," Basu said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 21:26 IST