Kolkata, April 18 (IANS) The second phase of Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal on Thursday was “peaceful” except for a few incidents which have been addressed, state Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab said here.
Three constituencies – Jalpaiguri (SC), Darjeeling and Raiganj – voted in during the day with the polling figure up to 5 p.m. being around 76.07 percent.
“The second phase election in West Bengal was conducted peacefully except for a few incidents. We have received 56 complaints at the CEO’s office and all of them have been addressed,” Aftab told reporters.
He said in Chopra (under the Darjeeling constituency), around 100 to 150 voters protested in the morning saying that they are unable to vote and the police observer assured to escort them to the polling booths.
A few people had put up a road blockade there and some police officers were injured, he said, adding: “Polling process inside the booth was not disrupted.”
Aftab also said that in polling station 112 of Chopra, a case of some people entering and damaging Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) has been reported. Action would be taken as per law, he said.
Regarding Jan Andolan Party President Harka Bahadur Chettri entering the booth with his mobile phone, he said: “An FIR has been filed against the person entering booth this way. The presiding officer has already been changed.”
Sharing details of the action taken after the attack on a journalist in Goalpokher under Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency in North Dinajpur district, Additional Director General of Police Siddhi Nath Gupta said an FIR has been filed against unknown persons.
On Raiganj candidate and CPI-M leader Mohammad Salim’s vehicle being vandalised when he arrived at a booth in Islampur after receiving reports of booth capturing, Gupta said: “As soon as we receive a complaint, we will file an FIR.”
“In total, eight FIRs were filed today (Thursday). In Kalimpong, three arrests have been made in relation to specific cases and there were 30 preventive arrests,” he said.
About the complaint in Jalpaiguri regarding some people entering a booth and opening fire, the police officer said: “The presiding officer said there was no such incident but we are looking into the matter.”
Asked about opposition parties’ allegations about inappropriate distribution of the central forces, Aftab said: “The final deployment is done by the District Electoral Officer, the SP and observers. They do take a report from the political parties but the final decision is taken by them.”