IMPHAL, MAR 3: With two days left for the second and phase of polls on March 5, Manipur’s Thoubal and Kakching districts turned into battle ground after a spate of poll-related violence incidents were reported.
Though there was no human casualties reported, over a dozen of houses and vehicles were damaged across the two districts in the last 24 hours.
Miscreants suspected to be workers of the candidates in the fray also used guns and petrol bombs in what candidates termed as intimidations to their supporters.
In one of the violence incidents reported in Sugnu AC of Kakching district around 10.30 pm on Wednesday, suspected workers and supporters of BJP candidate from Sugnu AC smashed more than a dozen vehicles.
Reports said that two Gypsy vehicles, one each of Santro and Bolero, and as many as eight two-wheelers were smashed in the attack on polling camp and house of Congress candidate T Ranjit Singh. The attackers also allegedly fired several rounds of gun shots.
Congress candidate T Ranjit Singh, who is seeking re-election from the assembly constituency, strongly condemned the violence and urged people to shun violence and allow voters to use their franchise without any fear and intimidation.
In another poll-related violence, as many as five houses reportedly belonging to workers of Congress candidates in Wangjing-Tencha AC were attacked by guns, stones and other deadly weapons around 11.30 pm on Wednesday.
Strongly condemning the violence perpetrated by suspected BJP workers, advisor of the Wangjing-Tentha Youth Congress P Sanatomba, appealed to everyone not to indulge in intimidation of workers and voters.
“Let’s allow the voters to cast their votes in a free and fair manner. Such kind of violence is against democracy and is the attitude of being ruled by a dictator,” he added.
In yet another poll-related incident in the same AC, two houses were damaged after miscreants hurled petrol bombs on them in the wee hours on Thursday.
Timely intervention by the villagers however saved the houses from being completely razed.
In Heirok assembly, three shops belonging to active workers of the BJP were vandalized by miscreants at Kakmayai village around 10.30 pm on Wednesday.
The miscreants also reportedly opened fire several rounds of guns in the air while carrying out arson.
Denouncing the vandalism and intimidation, villagers staged a protest on Thursday.
BJP candidate and sitting MLA Th Radheshyam who visited the damaged shops today blamed workers of his rival Congress candidate for the vandalism.
A public meeting after the protest also resolved to fix responsibility on the Congress if violence incidents occurred in the village further.
The second and final phase of the 60-seat Manipur legislative Assembly will take place on March 5 (Saturday) in which voting will be held in 22 Assembly segments spread across 10 districts of the state.
A total of 92 candidates are in the fray, with the ruling BJP fielding its candidates in all the 22 ACs.