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Three dead in Haryana panchayat poll violence
Tribune Reporters

Gurgaon, April 9
Elections to Gram Panchayats, Block Samitis and Zila Parishads in the district were today marred by violence at many places, resulting in two deaths and injuries to more than 50 persons.

Looting of ballot boxes and ballot papers in several villages and attempts of booth-capturing were the striking features of the elections. The polling process had to be stopped for a brief period at several places on account of tension and clashes.

Violent incidents were widespread in Mewat areas.

Many of the injured were admitted to the various Civil Hospitals. While about 27 were admitted to Sohna hospital,25 have been admitted in Punhana and 12 in Gurgaon hospital. 27 persons are said to have been injured in the clashes in villages in Nuh revenue bloc in Mewat. About 12 of the injured are said to be in a critical condition.

In Biwa village in Ferozepur Jhirka revenue Bloc, falling in Mewat, two groups clashed. Firearms were used in the violence, leading to the death of Mr Arshad and Mr Abdul Razzak at the polling booth. In the incident, about 12 persons were injured. Twenty rounds of gunshots were reported to have been fired in the clash.

Firearms were used in a clash between two groups in Jhimraot village in Nuh revenue bloc in Mewat. In the incident 25 persons have been injured on account of pellet injuries.

In Naheda, two groups, involving more than 24 people, clashed with bamboo sticks and country-made weapons leading to serious injuries to Mr Ali Mohammad, a candidate for Sarpanch.

Reports of clashes also came in from Jhaklipur, Singar, Nai, Akbarpur, Pinangwa, Naharpur, Haziur and Hinganpur villages in Punhana revenue bloc in Mewat. In Bagoli village polling could take place only after a police party reached.

In booths 30,31 in Dudeli village, miscreants barged in and looted about 275 ballot papers. According to the polling officer at booth number 30, Mr Babu Lal, 200 ballot papers were looted by miscreants. The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, Mr Balraj More, and a police team rescued the polling team of officials who were trapped in the polling booths in the violence. In Nimka village, miscreants looted ballot box at booth number 112.Same was the case in Singar.

In Sohna areas, there was a violent incident in Tikri village. A senior BJP leader, Mr Ram Chander Yadav, whose brother Rajender Yadav was contesting for the post of Sarpanch, was injured in a clash between two groups. Supporters of Mr Yadav alleged that outsiders had been called by the opposing group for the violence in a premeditated plan. Four of Mr Yadav’s supporters have been hospitalised in the Civil Hospital.

Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, Sudhir Rajpal and the district police chief, Mr Yogender Nehra, were spotted visting various sensitive villages in Mewat and Sohna, but this did not have any deterring effect on a large number of villages.

In Dhanwapur, a village near Gurgaon city, two groups clashed at Rajendra Park. The groups pelted stones for about half an hour. Two police personnel are reported to have received mild injuries in the incident. Mr Rashtriya Dahiya’s car was totally smashed by some miscreants in the incident.

There was tension in village Jharsa in Gurgaon sub-division on account of identity of voters.

CHULIANA (ROHTAK): One person was shot dead and two were seriously wounded today in this village, located about 30 km from Rohtak, during the panchayat polling.

The deceased has been identified as Rajesh. He died on the spot. Two others, who were injured, were identified as Karam Singh and Jagat Singh of the same village. While the former has gun shot wounds, the latter has a sharp-edged weapon injury. They have admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences at Rohtak.

The incident took place after a son of one of the candidates for the post of sarpanch picked up a quarrel with a polling agent of a rival candidate. Villagers said suddenly another candidate brought out his gun and fired. The bullets killed Rajesh, who was standing there on the spot. Karam Singh, who was also nearby, was hurt. In the melee, someone hit Jagat Singh with a sharp-edged weapon, wounding him seriously.

Polling was interrupted and senior district officials rushed to the village to restore order. The fate of the poll was not immediately known. No case had been registered till reports last came in as senior police officials were busy collecting facts. Meanwhile, a large police posse has been despatched to the village.

Reports of minor scuffles during polling were received from several villages, including Kharkara and Bhalot. However, there were no major incidents and the polling passed off peacefully.

The polling began on a brisk note and the early hours were dominated by men. Women, too, came out to vote in groups in the afternoon after finishing household chores. Heavy polling was noticed in almost all villages despite the unusually hot weather and duststorms, which lashed the area throughout the day.

JHAJJAR: A repoll has been ordered in several villages of this district due to different reasons.

In Dighal village, a mob stormed polling booths 9 and 11 and tore ballot papers. Deputy Commissioner Suprabha Dahiya reached the village and ordered a repoll.

In Subana village, polling had to be cancelled when it was noticed that the poll symbols of two candidates for the post of sarpanch had been mixed up. A similar problem in the case of ballot paper for the posts of panch forced the cancellation of the poll in ward No 9.

HISAR: A number of voters of Bithmara village in the district boycotted the panchayat election today. They were protesting against the changing of the election symbol of a contestant for the post of sarpanch.

Meanwhile, several persons were injured in a clash between rival factions during the election for the post of sarpanch in Ludas village, near here, today.

According to eye-witnesses, polling was going on at Government High School in the village, when the supporters of Ms Pooja Devi, a contestant for the post of sarpanch, alleged that some women supporters of Mr Gurdev Singh, a rival candidate, were casting bogus votes. In the clash that followed several persons were injured and the polling had to be halted for some time. Later, the injured were admitted to the local Civil Hospital and the polling process was resumed.

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