Fifth phase polling largely peaceful in Bengal, 78.36% turnout till 5pm

Fifth phase polling underway in Bengal; Assembly bypolls in six states, LS byelection in Karnataka
People stand in a queue to cast their vote at a polling station during the 5th phase of State Assembly elections at Santipur, in Nadia, Saturday, April 17, 2021. PTI

At least 78.36 per cent voter turnout was registered till 5pm on Saturday across 45 assembly constituencies of West Bengal where voting was held for the fifth phase, Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab said.

Jalpaiguri witnessed the highest polling percentage (81.73), followed by Purba Bardhaman (81.72), Nadia (81.57), North 24 Parganas (74.83), Darjeeling (74.31) and Kalimpong (69.56), he said.

"By and large polling has been peaceful in Bengal today apart from a few incidents of violence," Aftab said.

At least 123 people, including one Independent candidate, were arrested during polling in the six districts of the state, the CEO said.

"Out of the total figure, 100 are preventive arrests. Independent candidate Koushik Bhowmick was held from Baliadanga Daspara in Chakdah assembly constituency for carrying a country-made firearm outside booth 44, 44A. It was seized," Aftab told reporters.

Three people were apprehended for attacking and injuring one person in Shantipur, and two others were detained for ransacking a house in Gayespur.

Altogether, 2,241 complaints were received from the constituencies, where voting was held from 7 am to 6:30 pm, he said.

The Election Commission had deployed at least 853 companies of central forces for Saturday's polling.

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