Miscreants indulging in violence, try to stall voting process

By Our Correspondent

Agartala, June 23, 2022

Violence marred the Tripura bye-elections on Thursday with attacks on police personnel, journalists, Opposition candidates, and common people. Reports of mass-scale rigging erupted from the four poll-bound constituencies Agartala, Town Bordowali, Surma, and Jubarajnagar. BJP-backed miscreants stabbed and assaulted voters across constituencies and even pelted stones at a Trinamool candidate.

From the attack on Trinamool candidate Panna Deb near Indra Nagar to women voters being harassed and obstructed from entering booth no. 49 and 59, BJP workers engaged in violence to facilitate rigging. At multiple points during the day, BJP workers gathered outside booth numbers 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 35 36, 37, 38, 41, 52, 53, and 54. A police personnel was stabbed and his family members were attacked by BJP goons while they were on their way to vote.

In Town Bardowali assembly constituency , the Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha’s home turf saw maximum violence and most complaints of rigging on Thursday with no accountability from the ruling BJP.

Hhundreds of bikes gathered within 200m of the polling station violating the provisions were also noticed in many parts of the constituency led by leaders Yuva Morcha and goons barred people from entering the polling station. Journalist Subham Debnath was brutally assaulted near a polling station in Town Bordowali when he tried to capture the rigging by BJP workers.

Terrorizing of voters and obstructed them to cast their franchise were also reported in many booths from both 6-Agartala and 8-Town Bardowali constituencies.

Many voters were unable to cast votes in the CM Manik Saha's home polling station (Tulsibati School). Later in the afternoon, CAPFs were deployed in the outside of polling st

According to visuals, BJP workers gathered outside booth no. 11 of the Agartala constituency were seen snatching phones and intimidating the voters. Voters are also not being allowed to reach the polling booths.

In poll-bound Surma constituency's booth no.23, BJP workers physically restricted the Opposition candidate's booth agents from accessing the polling station. Not just this, EVM malfunction has also been reported from Agartala, Town Bordowali, Surma, and Jubarajnagar.

Even as Tripura Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha insisted that the bye-elections in the state are being conducted peacefully across the four Assembly constituencies, reports of violence have surfaced from his own constituency. In Town Bordowali constituency's booth no. 15 and 16, voters have been unable to cast their votes in Tulsibati School.

Trinamool's Jubarajnagar candidate Mrinal Kanti Debnath on Thursday alleged that BJP goons did not allow his booth-level agents to enter polling booths. BJP-backed goons are reportedly stopping people on the roads to keep them from reaching polling booths.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) state president Subal Bhowmik said that since last night, BJP workers have been terrorizing residents of Tripura by hurling bombs, assaulting people, and threatening them with dire consequences if they stepped out to vote today.

On Wednesday night, BJP workers attacked Trinamool's Surma candidate Arjun Namasudra and threatened to kill his family if he came out to vote or mobilize on Thursday. Despite complaints to police authorities and election commission officials, no action has been taken, said Bhowmik

He said miscreants owing allegiance with ruling party on Thursday hurled stones at Trinamool's Agartala candidate Panna Deb near the Chief Minister's residence in Muktadhara. The miscreants attacked Deb while she was on her way to the polling stations in the Indranagar area.

"BJP's bike bahini pelted stones at me and attacked our vehicle. I called authorities for assistance but no there has been no action. They are still waiting on the road with stones. A Trinamool supporter was also thrashed by these goons," Deb said.

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