At least 22 people were injured and one of them hospitalised, as forces baton charged voters and fired in air twice to scare away a rampaging mob which torched a police vehicle in Rangiya constituency in the final and last phase of polling at 64 of the 126 Assam assembly seats on Monday.
Sporadic incidents of violence were also reported from Mazbat, Sipajhar, Dhubri, Jagiroad and Samoguri seats, official sources said.
In the biggest incident at Rangiya constituency of Kamrup (Rural) district, seven persons including three women, were initially injured as BSF men started beating up some people at polling stations 53 to 56 in 72 Udayana L P School centre following rumour that rigging was taking place.
This infuriated people as a mob pelted stones, ransacked the polling booths, set ablaze one parked police vehicle and damaged three others, the sources said.
Police then baton charged the crowd and fired in the air but people refused to budge demanding that the BSF men remove their uniform and apologise to the public, sources said.
As the police fired in the air for the second time to scare away the protesters, 15 persons tripped while running away from the spot with one referred to the G.M.C. Hospital.
Polling was stopped in the voting centre and election officials left with the EVMs and polling materials, they said.
The three BSF personnel were seen taken away by district Superintendent of Police Apurba Jiban Barua with their hands tied with a cloth.
According to SP Debajit Deuri, the policeman accidentally touched the woman voter.
Mr. Deuri said there was ‘aggression’ on the part of the police but on apologising to the people the situation was brought under control and voting continued uninterrupted.
Assam Minorities Students Union alleged police had physically manhandled as the voters protested.
In the same district’s Bamunpargaon of Sipajhar and Samoguri, several persons received minor injuries in a clash between supporters of rival parties.
In Dhubri district’s 149 Jawahar Hindi High School booth, a CRPF man, coming here on leave to vote, was beaten up by his colleagues here who accused him of taking photos inside the polling station when his mobile phone rang.
The CRPF men confiscated his mobile set and also assaulted him before police intervened, the sources said, adding, voting continued uninterrupted.
In 191 Korotipam polling station of Jagiroad constituency in Morigaon district polling was stopped for one hour when supporters of two rival parties clashed, the sources added.