Monday, April 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

19 killed in Bihar poll violence
‘Might is right’ reigns supreme in second phase 

Patna, April 15
At least 19 people, including three election officials and policeman, were killed and several injured in today’s second phase Bihar panchayat elections in which an estimated 60 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise.

Official sources said five persons were killed in Vaishali district, 2 each in East Champaran, Nawada and Purnea and Patna districts and one each in Sheohar, Gaya, Darbhanga, Begusarai, Siwan and Nalanda.

A home guard jawan was killed, when MCC extremists attacked polling booth number 63 at Bhitia village in Nawada district. The ultras took away four rifles before escaping.

A Darbhanga report said one person was killed and three were injured when a bomb exploded in a house of a candidate contesting the election for the post of Mukhiya in Bhore village late last night.

State Home Secretary UP Panjiar said three persons were killed and four others injured in bomb blasts in the Mahnar police area in Vaishali district. In another poll-related violence in the district, one person was killed in crossfiring at Sherpura in the Mahanar police area, he said.

Six persons, including three poll personnel, were injured in bomb explosions at the Sultanpur polling centre in Vaishali district this morning, Mr Panjiar said.

While one person was killed in a clash between two rival groups at a booth under the Pakridayal police station, another lost his life in an exchange of fire in Chainpur in East Champaran district, he added.

The first phase of the panchayat poll in Bihar on April 11 had accounted for 17 lives.

The State Election Office here said an estimated 60 to 65 per cent voters participated in today’s exercise.

State Director-General of Police R.R. Prasad said Jitendra Verma was killed when the police opened fire to prevent a bid by anti-social elements to capture a booth in the Gurua police area of extremist-hit Gaya district.

Another person was killed when two groups clashed at booth numbers 43 and 46 in Sheohar district, he said, adding that one person was killed in crossfiring at Bhagwanpur under Barh subdivision in Patna.

Mr Prasad said poll-related violence also claimed one life at Dhamdaha in Purnea district.

Over 500 persons have been detained for allegedly trying to disturb polling at various places in the state.

According to reports, the adage “might is right’ reigned supreme in criminal-infested riverine areas in Mokama where large-scale electoral irregularities took place despite the deployment of armed police personnel.

Reports of police firing, crossfiring, shootouts, clashes, scuffle, loot and smearing of ballots continued to pour in from various parts of the state.

Mr Panjiar said over 35 persons, including poll personnel and policemen, were reported to have been injured in the incidents.

The DGP, however, claimed the polling was by and large peaceful in the Naxal-hit districts of Nalanda, Nawada, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jehanabad and Patna where the ultra-Left outfits have given a call of poll boycott.

Two home guards inured in the attack were sent to Sadar Hospital there for treatment. PTI

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