Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 19 June 2024 7.27 PM IST

Booth seizure in Manipur: Widespread violence and gunfire; voting machines widely vandalized; violence in Bengal too


NEW DELHI: Members of the armed Meitei group Arambai Tenggol unleashed widespread violence during the first phase of voting in Manipur, which is smouldering in communal violence. Booths were seized and voting machines were destroyed. There were two incidents of firing near booths in the Manipur valley. Voting was suspended in two booths in Imphal East and three booths in Imphal West.

A 65-year-old man was shot in Khurai, Imphal East. Booth was broken and documents were burnt there. At Thamnapokpi in Bishnupur district, assailants opened fire near booths and terrorized voters. Three people were injured in the encounter. These are Meitei majority areas.

At Uripok and Iroishemba in Imphal West district, assailants threatened the polling agents and made them leave the booths. Armed men fired and threatened Congress polling agents at Kiyamgei in the Keirao constituency of Imphal East district. A large number of booths were captured in Thongju Assembly constituency in Imphal East. There was a clash with the protesting voters. Voting machines were widely vandalized.

A boycott call by Kuki-Zomi organizations in the Kangpokpi district saw a low turnout. Polling increased in areas inhabited by Nagas and Nepalis. The turnout was low in Kuki areas. Saitu and Saikul constituencies of Kangpokpi district recorded 13.22 percent and 8.58 percent polling respectively till noon. Polling increased in Meitei areas of Outer Manipur. Chief Minister and BJP leader N Biren Singh cast his vote in the morning.

Violence in Bengal too

In West Bengal, there was widespread violence in Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri constituencies. Bombs were recovered from BJP booth president's residence in Dinhata. Thugs attacked the Trinamool polling camp in Sita. In Cooch Behar, Trinamool workers attacked BJP leader Love Sarkar.

The governor's office said reports of intimidation and violence have been pouring in since morning in the 'Peace Room' set up by Governor CV Ananda Bose at Raj Bhavan to assess the violence, which has been forwarded to the Election Commission. 112 companies of Central Armed Forces and 4,500 police forces were deployed in Cooch Behar.

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