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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today demanded Election Commission's "immediate intervention" to ensure free and fair elections after two of its candidates were attacked in two seperate incidents in Jharkhand and Bihar.
A statement released by the party said AAP candidate from Nalanda parliamentary constituency in Bihar, Pranav Prakash was allegedly attacked and brutally beaten up on Sunday night.
"He was in Udarfu village under Bind police station, (Asthava vidhan sabha) of Nalanda district. A group of 20-30 goons, armed with rods, pistols and other weapons, attacked the car in which he was travelling, broke the windows of his car, dragged him into a ditch and brutally beat him, till he fell unconscious", the statement said.
"It is shocking and highly regrettable that when the EC officials/observers in Nalanda district were contacted, they refused to come and informed the AAP volunteers that they would meet them in the morning," it said.
In the second incident, the AAP candidate from Khunti parliamentary constituency of Jharkhand and well-known adivasi activist Dayamani Barla and her campaign team are being regularly threatened, the party alleged.
"On April 7, the vehicle carrying the AAP supporters towards Arki block was stopped at Birbanki by some armed militants at 3 PM. They took away the car keys and mobile phones of all members, who however, managed to escape on foot at 7 PM and walked through the jungle all night to reach Khunti back only the next morning.
"The next incident took place on April 9, when some AAP supporters were stopped at Bikwadag in Karra block by six armed men. One of them said that he was the zonal commander of extremist outfit People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), which will not allow any campaigning for the AAP, and anybody doing so would be killed," the statement added.
AAP alleged that PLFI has made it clear that it will only allow the campaign of Jharkhand Party's candidate Anosh Ekka.
"These incidents show that vested interests are trying to discourage the presence of AAP in the electoral arena and it is for the EC to ensure that candidates are allowed to campaign without any fear and people are allowed to participate in the democratic process without any undue influence," the statement added.