The Tripura CPI(M) alleged that its senior leader and former Finance Minister Bhanu Lal Saha and scores of party workers were attacked during the by-elections to vacant seats in nine municipal bodies in the State on Thursday. The party withdrew its candidates competing in four wards of Agartala Municipal Corporation alleging threats and intimidation. Supporters of the CPI(M), led by senior leaders Pabtra Kar and Manik Dey, staged a protest outside the State Election Commission office here claiming failure of administration in conducting free and fair bypolls. Mr. Kar complained that the Election Commission remained unmoved despite several complaints filed by them. By-elections were held in 67 seats under different municipal bodies, including the AMC. A total of 174 candidates from different parties are contesting the bypolls. The counting of votes will take place on Friday. The BJP denied the allegations of attacks and threats on political rivals anywhere. “The CPI(M) has lost the support of people, so they are putting false blame on us to find a route to escape the polls,” BJP State vice-president Ashish Saha said.The CPI(M) claimed seven of its supporters were injured in an attack by BJP workers at Salema in Unakoti district on Wednesday evening. The attack reportedly occurred after the CPI(M) reopened its office in the area.It said party leaders and cadres again came under attacks during the municipal bypolls on Thursday. Mr. Kar said the attacks took place in Agartala, Bishalgarh, Belonia and Santirbazar.
Two inmates were killed on Thursday after lightning struck them in Borstal Jail in Ludhiana, the police said.“The incident occurred when four inmates were praying at a temple situated inside the jail premises. Lightning struck, leaving two of them dead and the other two injured,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (East) Devinder Chaudhary told reporters.Mr. Chaudhary said the deceased have been identified as Lakhvir Singh (18) and Rishav Kumar (19), both from Ludhiana. The injured inmates — Rajwinder Singh of Sidhwan Bet and Gurdeep Singh of Jagraon — were admitted at the civil hospital with serious burn injuries.