Security personnel allegedly lathicharged photo journalists at a polling station in Malda district when minister Sailen Sarkar entered the booth to cast his vote today, officials said.
The incident occurred when Sarkar, Environment and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, entered the booth at Malda Women's College and the waiting photo journalists followed him.
The security personnel objected to their entry into the booth but they ignored it and the men in uniform started caning the lensmen. Some of the photographers sustained minor injuries in the incident that occurred during the first phase of polling held in the six districts of north Bengal, they said. Meanwhile, Bharati Tamang, All India Gorkha League candidate and wife of its slain president Madan Tamang, alleged that Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has resorted to rigging in several areas of Darjeeling constituency.
The GJM was indulged in rigging in booths of Bhutia Bustee, Maharani High School, St Riza School and others, she claimed. One poll official Shaymal Basunia (50) was hospitalised after he fell sick in Jalpaiguri district during poll duty.
Malfunctioning of EVMs were reported from several booths in the districts and they were replaced.