Supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clashed with supporters of the regional Trinamool Congress in Asansol (West Bengal state) on Monday, April 29, amid the fourth stage of India's phased general election. Security forces reportedly dispersed multiple people wielding sticks following the scuffle. Additionally, clashes broke out between voters and soldiers in another part of the state on Monday, prompting paramilitary forces to fire a blank round inside the polling place. No casualties were immediately reported in the incidents.
Similar incidents of election-related unrest, including clashes between rival party supporters and between voters and security forces, are possible near polling places over the coming weeks, particularly on voting dates. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected around polling sites.
India is holding general elections for Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, from April 11 to May 19. An estimated 900 million Indians are eligible to vote for 543 seats in seven phases: April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12, and May 19. Votes will be tallied and announced on May 23.
Individuals in India are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate a heightened security presence and associated business, government, and transportation disruptions during the prolonged voting period, avoid all public gatherings as a precaution, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.
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