Howrah, the twin city of Kolkata, witnessed yet another episode of trampling of democracy on Friday when TMC gangs captured booths during the Municipal Corporation elections.
TMC gangs targeted the northern part of the city and at least in 13 wards, voters were not allowed to cast their vote in most of the polling booths. The Mayor of the Corporation and five other Left Front candidates were attacked. Mayor Mamata Jaisawal was attacked twice during the day. In the first incident, she rushed to a booth after the information on booth capturing reached her and TMC gangs threw bombs at her car. In the second incident, a TMC gang mercilessly beat her up in front of another booth. Jaiswal has been hospitalized. Four other CPI(M) and a CPI candidate were attacked as they protested against rampant booth capture in their constituencies.
In Howrah, TMC gangs were present within the booths and voters were dictated to go back, after their finger were marked with indelible ink, without allowing them to cast their vote. In most of the cases, the polling officers were forced to remain silent. In 13 wards known Left Front supporters were threatened and were forced to return without voting. Bike-borne gangs roamed throughout the day threatening voters, forcing them to remain indoors. The Left Front has demanded a repoll in 13 wards with adequate security measures.
Kolkata, November 23, 2013