Trinamool activists attack poll officials
Trinamool Congress activists Thursday allegedly assaulted Election Commission (EC) officials in West Bengal's Malda district for objecting to a party candidate's rally, the district authorities said.
The EC has sought a report about the incident from the district administration.
The incident happened in Manikchak area in the district, when the EC team objected to a motorbike rally being taken out in support of the party's candidate from Malda South, Moajjim Hussain. Such rallies are prohibited. As soon as the officials protested, several Trinamool activists assaulted them.
Confirming the incident, Malda District Magistrate S.K. Dwivedi told IANS: "A report in this regard has been sought from the block development officer, and whoever is found guilty will be punished."
"The party workers had not taken any police permission for the rally and there were about 250-300 bikes in the rally despite this being prohibited. When we tried to stop them, several Trinamool activists assaulted and abused us. They even broke our camera. We are feeling apprehensive doing our work for the EC," one of the assaulted officials, Ajit Das, said.
"We have sought a report from the DM (district magistrate) which we are expecting to get shortly," Amit Roy Chowdhury, officer on special duty (EC), said.
Though he was caught on camera, Hussain has denied his presence at the site.
The incident comes a day after Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, speaking at a rally, vowed to avenge the "insult" inflicted by the EC when it ordered the state government to transfer eight officials.
"The insult, that you have meted us by transferring our SPs (superintendents of police) and DMs, will be avenged. But, it will be through ballots and not bullets," Banerjee said Wednesday after her government executed the EC's order to transfer the officials, including five police superintendents and a district magistrate.
The Congress and the CPI-M both have attacked Banerjee over the incident and urged the EC to take suitable action.
"The way the CM is publicly attacking the EC and vowing to avenge, it is spurring her party workers to do what they are doing, it is shameful," CPI-M leader Rabin Deb said.
Echoing similar views, Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya stressed the need for taking stringent action to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
Earlier, the block development officer of Habra in North 24-Parganas district alleged that he was assaulted and insulted by the Trinamool activists for removing Banerjee's banners and posters. In Howrah, an election team was attacked by Trinamool workers for removing the party flags.
(Posted on 10-04-2014)