Amid ongoing phase two Lok Sabha polls in three West Bengal constituencies - Darjeeling, Raiganj and Jalpaiguri, on Thursday, locals have clashed with the police outside polling booth 159, in Raiganj, North Dinajpur of West Bengal.
The locals claim that bike-borne youths which have been identified as alleged Trinamool Congress supporters were seen stopping voters from casting their vote. Female voters have been reportedly attacked. The tension among the locals is due to ineffective policing, reports have said. They claim that the police who were on the scene when bikers have attacked voters did not take any action to stop these miscreants. The Election Commission in Raiganj has not given any statement about this incident yet.
Expecting disruption in polls, the EC had requested additional paramilitary and CRPF forces to help them curb such attacks. Currently, the situation is under control and CRPF personnel have resorted to lathi charge to keep miscreants away from several polling booths.
Dinajpur has been in the hot-bed since Tuesday, when Bangladeshi star Ferdous Ahmed was seen campaigning on Sunday, in favour of the Trinamool candidate for Raigunj constituency, Kanhaiyalal Agarwal.
The West Bengal BJP had immediately condemned Trinamool alleging that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee wants to survive the elections using Pakistani and Bangladeshi forces.
"Today Bangladeshi actors have come, tomorrow Pakistani actors will come. Mamata Banerjee wants to survive in West Bengal with the help of Bangladeshi actors or Pakistani actors or may be Pakistani extremist elements."
Following this, the Ministry of Home Affairs canceled Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed’s business visa on Tuesday and issued him a leave India notice.
Previously, on March 11 when the Lok Sabha election dates were announced, two people were injured in clashes between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Congress workers in Dinajpur. These clashes were in protest of the shooting of a teenage girl who had been caught in the crossfire between Trinamool and BJP workers in North Dinajpur on March 8.
The second phase of Lok Sabha polls is underway in 12 states and 1 union territory on Thursday. With 95 Lok Sabha seats in the fray and 52 of them belonging to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, phase two is a battle for the southern vote.