Police officer’s killing mars Bihar panchayat polls (Second Lead)April 20th, 2011 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS
Patna, April 20 (IANS) The first round of Bihar’s 10-phase panchayat polls Wednesday saw 55 percent voter turnout. The polls were mostly peaceful, except for the killing of a police officer in a Maoist attack, some sporadic incidents of violence and alleged vote rigging attempts, officials said.
According to officials of the state election commission, by the time polling ended at 5 p.m., around 55 percent of the electorate had cast their votes.
Polling, which began at 7 a.m., saw long queues of voters outside booths despite a boycott call by Maoists. Women came out in large numbers, undeterred by the scorching heat later in the day.
Police officer Rajkendra Jha was killed in Jamui district when armed Maoists attacked a polling party.
Around half a dozen people were injured during clashes between rival groups in various parts of the state.
According to the police, there were also reports of a bomb explosion in Nawada district.
“Police have arrested 267 people for disrupting polls,” a police officer said.
Security forces, including the central paramilitary forces, were deployed at polling stations.
The state administration had sealed the India-Nepal border and deployed security forces at all vulnerable points.
Polls were held in 57 blocks of 37 districts for 28,639 village council posts. A total of 1.43 lakh candidates were in the fray in this phase.
Nearly 2.75 lakh ‘troublemakers and habitual offenders’ have signed bonds promising not to disrupt the polling process, a police officer said. Last week, the state Election Commission made it clear that if any candidate is attacked or intimidated, his rival will be named in the police report.
Elections in Bihar were once known for violence and booth capturing. In the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, 74 people were killed in poll-related violence. About 20 people were killed in the 2004 general elections and 158 during the 2001 panchayat elections.
The 10-phase polls for 262,000 panchayat posts would end May 28.
- Bomb blast mars Bihar panchayat polls (Lead) - Apr 20, 2011
- Bihar holds fourth phase of panchayat polls - Apr 30, 2011
- Bihar holds second phase of panchayat polls - Apr 24, 2011
- Tenth round of Bihar panchayat polls under way - May 18, 2011
- Maoists kill two officials during Bihar panchayat polls - May 15, 2011
- 56 percent turnout in fourth phase of Bihar panchayat polls (Lead) - Apr 30, 2011
- Bihar conducts fifth phase of panchayat polls - May 03, 2011
- Sporadic violence mars Bihar second phase polls (Second Lead) - Apr 24, 2011
- Bihar panchayat polls' ninth phase marred by Maoist violence (Lead) - May 15, 2011
- Sporadic violence mars Bihar's panchayat polls (Lead) - Apr 24, 2011
- Seventh round of Bihar panchayat polls continues peacefully (Lead) - May 09, 2011
- Poll panel warns against influencing vote counting in Bihar - May 21, 2011
- Third phase of Bihar panchayat polls proceeds peacefully - Apr 27, 2011
- Tenth round of Bihar panchayat polls concludes (Lead) - May 18, 2011
- Three killed in Bihar panchayat poll violence - Apr 23, 2011
Tags: bihar, bomb explosion, district police, general elections, habitual offenders, half a dozen, lok sabha elections, maoist, maoists, panchayat elections, paramilitary forces, police report, polling stations, rival groups, sporadic incidents, state administration, state election commission, troublemakers, vote rigging, vulnerable points