This was disclosed at a press conference at Red Chilies Hotel in Bogra town today.
Rafi Hossain, editor-in-charge, Star Insight, a fortnightly publication of The Daily Star, Md Shafiqul Islam, and Pulok Debnath, risk officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Bogra Branch, were present at the press conference. The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bank jointly organised the event. ။ Photo : STAR
Howrah, 7 May : A person claimed to be CPI(M) supporter was shot dead in suspected poll related violence at Amta in Howrah district on Thursday, police said. CPI(M) MLA from Amta claimed the youth was a CPI(M) supporter and was shot dead by Trinamool Congress activists to intimidate Left Dront activists in Uluberia Lok Sabha seat which went to polls today. Police said Nur, who was passing by, was chased and shot dead by unidentified persons at Mahispoha locality.
New Delhi, 7 May : Alleging rigging of elections at Nandigram in West Bengal, CPI(M) on Thursday demanded repoll in 50 booths in the area falling under the Tamluk parliamentary constituency. The demand was made by party leader Jogendra Sharma when he met Election Commission officials here.
In a memorandum, the CPI(M) alleged that 42 polling booths were "forcibly captured by hoodlums belonging to the Trinamool Congress". CPM polling agents were also not allowed to enter these booths and several of them "suffered injuries in the attacks".
It also pointed out that West Bengal CPI(M) leader and Politburo member Biman Basu had written to the state Chief Election Officer "on several occasions detailing the situation and seeking his intervention to ensure free and fair polls in the constituency." The party demanded repoll in 50 polling booths in the area under the Tamluk constituency, a CPI(M) release said here.
He said all international passengers arriving at Port Blair are being screened here for symptoms to check the cases of swine influenza type A (H1N1) infection and no suspected cases were detected. The Health Department in Andaman is working in close coordination with the immigration section of the Andaman Administration so that each and every foreign tourist can be traced for health check up.
''To screen the passengers, we have deployed one doctor with two pharmacists on duty at Veer Savarkar International Airport and one Port Health Officer, two Port Health Inspectors and one LHV have been deputed at Port Blair harbour,'' Dr Sadasivan told mediapersons while addressing a press conference today at Port Blair.
The electoral battle erupted in violence in West Bengal where bomb attacks killed a voter each in Asansol and Murshidabad districts. A man wounded in a bomb blast Wednesday succumbed to his injuries. Three policemen were injured in one of the incidents. In Asansol One killed, more than dozens people injured in a fight to protect a booth being captured at Barabani Assembly Constituency under Asansol Parliamentry Constituency. Presiding Officer Suresh Routh told Bengal Newz :”I heard sound of bomb blast around 1:30pm at Kanyapur Village F.P. School, booth No. 281/7.When I came out of booth I saw more than dozen peoples ,said to be CPI(M) supporter, trying to capture the EVM machine on gunpoint. Even they took gunpoint on me.” In the meanwhile a few TMC supporters reached there and thereafter the booth turned into a battleground.
In Murshidabad district, a 28-year-old CPI(M) worker identified as Kashinath Mondal was killed when some unidentified miscreants hurled a bomb at him while he was on his way home after casting vote at Eroali village under Jangipur parliamentary constituency, SP BL Meena told Bengal Newz. Indaian External affairs minister and Congress heavyweight Pranab Mukherjee is contesting from Jangipur.
In East Midnapore district, two persons died of sun stroke while waiting in a queue outside a polling booth, SP Pallab Kanti Ghosh said. However, police denied reports of any firing in the area. There were also reports of voters boycotting polls at one booth each in Burdwan, Birbhum and Murshidabad districts on local issues, Joint CEO Sahana said, adding that 101 EVMs had been replaced because of technical snags.
West Bengal was also the state that saw the highest voter turnout of 75 per cent with Bihar being the state with the lowest voting per centage of 37. ။ Photo : Reuters, Niraj Modi & Moinak Mukherjee
Nandigram : 2 injured in poll violence
Nandigram, 7 May : Two people were seriously injured in West Bengal's volatile Nandigram area when activists of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the opposition Trinamool Congress clashed in at least two places during the second phase of polling in the state on Thursday. Two people were injured when their heads were hit with rifle butts in Adhikaripara area of Nandigram, which falls in East Midnapore district, police said.
"Two people have been injured in a political clash in Nandigram's Adhikaripara area. They were taken to Khejuri block hospital with serious head injuries," East Midnapore police superintendent Pallab Kanti Ghosh told Bengal Newz. "The situation has been brought under control now," Ghosh added.
Clashes also took place in the Gokulnagar area. "The political clashes mainly took place in the rural pockets in locations away from the booths. So it did not affect the polling process," a police officer said.
Nandigram falls under Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency where sitting MP Laxman Seth of the CPI(M) is engaged in a tough contest with the Trinamool Congres's Subhendu Adhikari. Nandigram became a synonym for political violence after protests over land being acquired for a chemical hub in the region. ။ Photo : Reuters
Verdict on Singur-Nandigram
Kolkata, 7 May : In West Bengal’s most crucial round today when 17 constituencies vote, Singur and Nandigram are dominate the scene. The key issue is agriculture versus industry. It will be a test of the ruling Left Front as well as the Opposition to show their strength in areas which have dominated debate in the country in the past couple of years : Singur, Nandigram and Nayachar.
In effect, this phase will give a clear verdict. Who do the masses want : the ‘pro-industry’ Left or the Trinamool which, according to its chief Mamata Banerjee, is fighting for “Ma-Mati-Manush (mother-soil-people) of West Bengal.
In 2004, the Left won 14 of the 17 seats that will are going to vote in this phase. But political equations have changed rapidly in the last couple of years following the Singur and Nandigram incidents. Much of Left Front’s vote base has eroded in these flashpoint regions as proved by the Left’s poor show in panchayat elections in both places. Both Nandigram (in Tamluk constituency) and Singur (Hooghly constituency) is voteing on today. The Congress, which is in an alliance with Trinamool, is fighting to retain its three seats in the Murshidabad district, where heavyweight candidates like Indian External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee are seeking re-election.
Not just in this phase of polling, Nandigram and Singur will have an impact on all the 42 seats of West Bengal. However, the performance in this phase of polling would help both parties formulate their strategies for the upcoming Assembly elections in 2011.