As Tripura braces for the upcoming by-poll scheduled for September 5th in the Boxanagar and Dhanpur Assembly Constituencies of Sepahijala district, the state committee secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPIM, Jitendra Chaudhury, has voiced serious concerns about the alleged attempts by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to manipulate and rig the election.
Chaudhury's apprehensions were detailed in a letter addressed to Chief Electoral Officer Puneet Agawal, where he outlined specific incidents of intimidation and coercion by BJP workers, aimed at subverting the democratic process.
The CPIM secretary expressed, "Our apprehension about the unfair and violent means that the BJP may resort to, to reduce the election to be a complete mockery has seems to be true from the eventualities going on since the previous night."
According to Chaudhury's letter, on the previous night, a group of approximately 15 BJP workers, traveling in two Bolero cars, engaged in activities such as defacing vehicle numbers, using cloth or paint to mask them. These individuals were also reported to have terrorized voters, going house to house in areas including Rangamura, Barkhola, Barmura, Bashpukur, and Nirbhoypur, which fall under the Dhanpur Assembly Constituency.
"They threatened the voters and the intending polling Agents of the opposition candidates, not to come out of their house on 5th September, and on defying their dictate, they would face dire consequences," the letter stated.
Jitendra Chaudhury, who is also a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), alleged that the individuals involved in this intimidation belonged to the ruling BJP party. Despite these actions, the police at various checkpoints did not intervene to prevent their movement.
The CPIM secretary highlighted an incident where the CPI(M) candidate, Koushik Chanda, attempted to contact the Returning Officer (RO) for Dhanpur but received no response. He then sent an urgent message via WhatsApp to the RO, who subsequently forwarded the message to the Officer-in-Charge of Jatrapur police station. However, Chanda's attempts to reach the Officer-in-Charge also went unanswered.
Furthermore, Chaudhury alleged that after 9:00 p.m. on the previous night, two other vehicles with concealed number plates passed through at least four checkpoint points, and again, the police at these checkpoints took no action.
The CPIM further claimed that many outsiders who are not registered voters in these two constituencies are residing in the area. Despite informing the police about the presence of these outsiders, no action was taken to remove them from the constituency.
Chaudhury in his letter urged the Chief Electoral Officer to instruct the police to take firm action against any potential wrongdoings and to ensure a free, fair, and peaceful election process.
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