Manipur Lok Sabha elections: Armed men create chaos, angry voters destroy EVMs | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Manipur Lok Sabha elections: Armed men create chaos, angry voters destroy EVMs

Apr 19, 2024 05:57 PM IST

Unidentified armed men allegedly intimidated election agents of Congress at different places and asked them to leave the polling stations.

Incidents of intimidation and firing marred the ongoing Lok Sabha polls in the Inner Manipur constituency, as armed men unleashed chaos at various polling stations.

Incidents of intimidation and firing were reported from at least two places in Inner Manipur constituency.
Incidents of intimidation and firing were reported from at least two places in Inner Manipur constituency.

At Thamnapokpi under Moirang constituency in Bishnupur district, voters fled in panic when armed men fired several rounds in the air near a polling booth, reported PTI quoting police. Additional security personnel were reportedly rushed to the scene to contain the situation.

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In Uripok and Iroishemba in Imphal West district, armed individuals forced party agents to vacate the premises and threatened the voters to vote for one party. Incensed with the intimidation, the voters at some polling stations damaged the EVMs and other election-related materials.

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At Kiyamgei in Imphal East district's Keirao constituency, armed men fired blank shots and intimidated Congress polling agents, reported PTI.

A firing incident and clash by unidentified miscreants at a polling booth in Moirangkampu Sajeb Awang Leikai of Imphal was also reported.

The Congress candidate from the Inner Manipur seat, Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, was seen in a video complaining to police that his agent was forcibly removed by gun-totting youths from a polling station.

“I have also seen that video, where the Congress candidate is complaining of threats to his polling agent. I have asked officials to verify and get back with details,” ” Manipur chief electoral officer Pradeep Kumar Jha told HT.

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Sajeb Surbala Devi, Block Level Officer for Moirangkampu, told ANI, "Suddenly two men here came and asked for polling agents of Congress and BJP. They took the Congress agent outside by holding his hand. Then the two men fired shots from inside the car. One person got injured."

Earlier in the day, an altercation at Khongman Zone 4 in Imphal East district resulted in the damage of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during a confrontation between voters and unidentified individuals.

Read: ‘Don't return without voting’: Mamata Banerjee's 'citizenship' warning migrants in Bengal for Eid

In videos and photos circulated on social media, EVMs are seen lying on the ground and furniture in the polling stations damaged. In some videos, people complained that they were asked to vote for one party at gunpoint and in some cases their votes had already been cast by others. HT couldn't independently verify the authenticity of the photos and videos.

Reacting to the reports, Nationalist Congress Party (SCP) leader Supriya Sule said on X, “Disturbing video evidence of alleged poll booth capturing during Elections in Manipur denying citizens their right to vote. This kind of electoral malpractice undermines democracy and erodes public trust, that too in a state that has massively suffered due to neglect of the BJP Government. We urge @ECISVEEP to investigate this matter promptly and ensure fair elections.”

(With inputs from Bureau and agencies)

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