Polling deferred in Tripura, Law and Order issues cited as reasons

Days before scheduled poll date, severed chicken heads and notes threatening violence against Left supporters were found

Polling in Tripura East deferred to April 23 due to law and order problem
Image Courtesy: Zee News

Polling in the Tripura (east) Lok Sabha seat has been postponed to April 23 from April 18, announced the Election Commission on Wednesday, owing to “the prevailing law and order situation” which was not “conducive for holding free and fair polls.”

Days before the Lok Sabha polls, Tripura is in deep tension. As per reports from supporters of Communist Part of India (Marxist), left supporters are getting political threats in the form of severed chicken heads and handwritten notes.

The locals had said that if the law and order situation is good, then they will go to cast their votes. Otherwise if the situation is grim, they may not turn up to vote.

Voters were threatened with ‘dire consequences’ if they reached out to polling stations for casting votes in East Tripura, a constituency reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) seats.

East Tripura was to conduct the polls in the second phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Thursday April 18.

Reportedly, the note read, “If you go to vote on April 18, you will face the same fate.” The brutal imagery of an attached chicken head seemingly is meant to suggest that those voters who stood by CPI (M) would be killed by severing their heads.

The CPI (M) leader and Khowai MLA Nirmal Biswas told Indianexpress that the handwritten notes were served by BJP supporters to identified Left Front supporters in an obvious bid to restrain them from voting on April 18, when East Tripura Lok Sabha constituency goes to polls.

On the other hand, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya had denied allegations that his party served such notices and rejected claims of BJP workers having roles in such incidents. He added that the reported threat was actually a “mischief” carried out by CPI (M) supporters and the blame was later thrown on BJP.

The state chief electoral officer and special police observer, the poll panel said, “The law and order situation prevailing … is not conducive to the holding of free and fair poll.”

Elections for the first phase were held on April 11, Congress and CPI (M) demanded re-polling in 460 polling stations on the ground of rigging.



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