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Over 80 pc polling recorded in 8 LS seats in West Bengal

Kolkata: Over 80 per cent turnout was recorded in eight Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal Sunday, according to the Election Commission.

There was a decline in poll percentage in West Bengal, from 84.95 per cent in the previous election to 80.35 per cent, the poll panel said.

However, the EC stated that the figure was provisional and a final tally will be released later.

Till 5 pm, Tamluk seat recorded the highest voter turnout at 82.99 per cent, followed by Bishnupur (SC) at 81.90 per cent and Jhargram (ST) at 81.68 per cent.

Ghatal recorded 80.35 per cent, 80.06 per cent, Purulia 78.64 per cent, Medinipore 78.17 per cent and Bankura 75.68 per cent, he said.

“Except some incidents of disturbances in Keshpur, polling was mostly peaceful. We have sought reports from district officials about the incidents,” the official said.

The eight constituencies are spread across five districts.

BJP’s Ghatal candidate and former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh was attacked when she tried to enter a polling booth in Keshpur.

Ghosh’s convoy was also targeted when locals started throwing stones and hurling bombs after she tried to enter another polling station in Keshpur.

One of her security guards was injured and a vehicle was damaged.

It was also alleged that a TMC worker was injured in the firing by Ghosh’s security officers within 100 metres of a booth at Dugachia in Keshpur.

West Bengal ADG (Law and Order) S N Gupta said an FIR was lodged against Ghosh and her security personnel for their alleged involvement in the firing of four rounds.

He said another FIR was lodged against BJP state president and Medinipur candidate Dilip Ghosh for creating disturbances, causing law and order issues.

The officer said another suo-motu FIR was lodged against some people for creating violence and disturbances at two booths in Keshpur.

Central forces also allegedly opened fire during a clash at Bhagabanpore in Sabang area in which two persons were injured, Gupta said.

The forces also opened fired in incidents at Mayna, Jhargram’s Gopiballavpur and Kalabagan in Bishnupur in order to control the situation, Gupta added.

Sixteen persons were arrested in connection with different incidents of violence in which at least 26 people were injured. Three suffered bullet injuries, he said, adding that 16 vehicles were damaged.

The CEO’s office sought a report after Ghosh was seen making a video inside a polling booth at Pikurda in Keshpur.

Ghosh’s vehicle was again blocked by locals when she tried to enter Keshpur market.

The state police personnel, posted in the area, intervened and her vehicle was seized.

“Her vehicle has no valid pass to move around the area on polling day. We cannot allow her to move around like this. It is a matter of security,” a police officer said.

After the seizure of her vehicle, a large number of protestors gathered there and she took shelter inside a temple in Keshpur market along with her security officers guarding her.

The mob also threw stones at the policemen who resorted to lathicharge to disperse them.

Owners of shops in the market downed shutters.

Ghosh was then taken to Keshpur police station for protection.

BJP’s candidate and state party president Dilip Ghosh also faced protests from locals when he tried to visit a polling booth in his constituency, Medinipore.

Hours after the polling was over, the Election Commission late Sunday night transferred Bankura district magistrate Dr Uma Sankar S and brought in Mukta Arya.

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