People Voting in Lalgarh Saradamani School
Kolkata, 30th April- Incidents of violence, Maoist terror and intimidation marred the voting process in some parts of West Bengal, in the first phase. 14 seats went to polls on Thursday,in northern and western part of the state. The general voting trend was, however, peaceful and large number of voters exercised their right in most of the constituencies.
Maoists called for vote boycott and to enforce this created an atmosphere of terror in remote villages of Purulia district. In the morning, landmine blasts created panic in some areas of Bandwan and Balarampur areas resulting in low turn out. Two Border Security Force jawans were injured in the blast triggered by at Biramdih in Purulia district.In Lalgarh and Shalboni, the areas seized by the Maoist-backed forces, election commission and administration arranged buses to carry voters in the four centres as determined.
But the Maoists have not allowed the voters to come and there was very low turnout. In these areas as many as seven CPI(M) leaders and activists were killed during election campaign.In three sub divisions in the hills, the polling was not free and fair in many areas due to intimidation by Gorkha Janamukti morcha in support of BJP candidate.The polling was otherwise more or less peaceful in most of the constituencies.
There was no major incident in Midnapore, Bankura,two seats in Maldaha, Coochbehar, Balurghat.In Ghatal, where CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta is contesting, Trinamool Congress candidate slapped a polling official.“The people of the state braved the terror and voted in a determined fashion,” Biman Basu, Chairman of Left Front said at a press conference in this evening.