Two Dead, EVM Tampering Allegations in Bengal Amid Poll Tensions

ByTV10 Punjab

May 26, 2024
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WebDesk X
25 May
Sandeep Dhand Ludhiana

As voting continued in West Bengal, reports of poll-related violence and EVM tampering emerged, leading to heightened tensions in East and West Midnapore districts. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) alleged that five Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in Raghunathpur were found with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tags, urging the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take immediate action.

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TMC leader Mamata Banerjee, via a post on X, reiterated concerns about the BJP’s attempts to manipulate votes. “Smt. @MamataOfficial has repeatedly flagged how @BJP4India was trying to rig votes by tampering with EVMs. And today, in Bankura’s Raghunathpur, 5 EVMs were found with BJP tags on them. @ECISVEEP should immediately look into it and take corrective action!” the post read.

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The ECI responded, clarifying that the tags were signed by the candidates’ representatives present during commissioning, which in this case was only the BJP candidate’s representative.

Meanwhile, tension escalated in Jhargram Lok Sabha constituency’s Belatikri area after the discovery of Uttam Mahato’s body, which bore multiple injuries. Local police stated the incident was not politically motivated, although the deceased’s political affiliation remains unclear.

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Earlier in the day, Sheikh Moibul, a local TMC leader, was reportedly killed following clashes between BJP and TMC supporters, marking the first confirmed poll-related death on Saturday.

Further incidents were reported in West Midnapore’s Sabang, where a BJP polling agent was attacked, allegedly by TMC activists. He was hospitalized with head injuries. Additionally, TMC accused local BJP activists in Nandigram of destroying a footbridge to prevent villagers from reaching polling stations, and announced plans to update the ECI on the situation.

These incidents highlight the volatile atmosphere as West Bengal continues its voting process amidst accusations and counter-accusations between the TMC and BJP, raising concerns over the integrity and safety of the electoral process.