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Tripura CPM says it asked candidate not to go to Boxanagar because of violence threat

Tripura’s Opposition CPM, which has demanded countermanding of Tuesday’s bypolls in two Assembly constituencies over allegations of poll violence, on Wednesday defended its Boxanagar candidate, Md Mijan Hossain, who was not seen in public for most of the poll hours.

The party said that a CPM leader from Boxanagar was attacked in Sonamura by BJP-backed goons in the presence of the ruling party’s candidate a day before the vote. “This incident showed that a reign of terror was let loose at Boxanagar at the behest of the BJP candidate himself. Considering this, the party instructed the candidate not to go to Boxanagar (on the poll day),” CPM Sonamura subdivisional committee secretary Ratan Saha said in a statement.

The statement said that Hossain had requested the Sepahijala district superintendent of police to grant him a police escort in addition to the two personal guards provided for his security at his house. Saha also said that the Kalamchowra police had assured him of additional security on the voting day if personnel were available at the police station.

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Saha also said that Hossain was unable to communicate with the Kalamchowra police station on the poll day. Hossain was not seen for the rest of the day in the Boxanagar area after he cast his vote.

BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya rubbished the allegations and said that people had voted peacefully and that the CPM was now making baseless charges after sensing its “imminent defeat” in the bypolls.

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The bypolls in the Dhanpur and Boxanagar constituencies were necessitated by the resignation of Pratima Bhoumik, now a Union minister, and the death of Hossain’s father Samsul Haque, respectively.

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