AUDF worker hacked, clash in Kokrajhar

Zero voting in 12 booths
April 24 : An AUDF leader was hacked to death while seven persons were injured in a group clash soon after polling ended in the state today, registering 62.5 per cent turnout.
In another incident, the body of an AGP worker, who had been missing since yesterday, was recovered today.
AGP leader Puspa Deka was arrested for allegedly manhandling an election official and preventing voters from casting their votes at a polling station at Dadara in Kamrup district today.
However, Deka’s supporters said he was arrested on false charges because he was protesting against rigging by Congress workers at the polling station at Dadara.
However, a dozen polling booths spread over various constituencies in Assam recorded zero voting with voters refusing to exercise their franchise in protest against non-redressal of grievances.
Polling passed off peacefully in Tripura, too, but the weather played spoilsport. A heat wave worsened by high humidity marred the otherwise peaceful polling for the state’s two Lok Sabha seats today with additional chief electoral officer Dilip Acharjee putting the initial polling percentage at 80, pending final computation of data from the interiors of the state.
In Assam, general secretary of AUDF Goalpara district unit and treasurer of the party’s Goalpara (East) Legislative Constituency Committee, Ganesh Hazarika, 40, was chopped to pieces by one Ramu Das at Dubapara under Matia police station of Goalpara district around 5pm today.
Police arrested Das, a supporter of Arun Chandra Das, an Independent candidate backed by the AGP-BJP in Dhubri parliamentary constituency.
According to an eyewitness, Hazarika was sitting near a polling station at Dubapara when Das attacked him with a sharp weapon. Hazarika died on the spot. Irate villagers later set Das’s house and his cycle repairing shop at Dubapara on fire. The situation at Dubapara is tense but under control.
At around the same time, seven persons were injured when supporters of the All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union and the BPF clashed at Kalipukhuri under Kokrajhar police station over allegations of attempts at booth capturing. According to preliminary information, some members of the student organisation had caught hold of a BPF supporter accusing of having tried to instigate others to capture a polling booth in the area. As the news spread, a large number of BPF supporters descended on the spot and the clash ensued.
The assistant secretary of the AGP’s Hariamukh anchalik committee under Raha Assembly constituency, Jadav Das, was abducted from near the party office. His body was recovered from Hariamukh this evening. The body did not bear any injury mark. Police suspect it to be a “political murder”.
The AASU alleged that a large number of people had to return disappointed from the polling booths without casting their vote because of “widespread confusion” over the set of documents accepted by the Election Commission as valid identity proof of the voters in place of voter identity cards, which is yet to be issued to voters in Assam.
A polling officer checks the name of a voter by candlelight at a polling station in Tiamari village near Guwahati on Thursday. (Reuters)
AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya said several people could not vote as poll officials in some polling booths insisted that only seven documents — passports, driving licence, PAN cards, bank passbooks, insurance documents, caste certificates and job cards issued under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act — could be used as authentic identification proof.
Bhattacharyya said he was not initially allowed to vote at a polling station in South Sarania Lower Primary School as he does not possess any of these seven documents. “I had to argue with the polling officer for more than 30 minutes after which he allowed me to vote after confirming my identity from one of my telephone bills which I had with me.”
At the South Sarania Lower Primary School, former director-general of Assam police Harekrishna Deka and his wife Anjali were denied their right to vote as their names could not be located on the voter’s list.
Two polling officials, Samudra Rajkhowa, deputed at number 15 polling centre at Rajadhap under Sonari sub-division in Sivasagar district and Anil Bhattacharyya, deputed at number 126 polling station at Ulubari in Sonitpur district, were arrested after they were found in an inebriated state inside the polling booths.