M A I N   N E W S

Jat land smashes polling record
At 75.9%, Haryana clocks highest-ever voting * 40 hurt in stray violence at Sirsa, Hisar, Mewat
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Haryana voters today set a new record with a 75.9% turnout in the high-stakes battle of ballot that will determine the future of several prominent politicians in the state. The last voting record was 72.65% in 1967.

The record polling, however, was marred by stray incidents of violence which left at least 40 persons, including 10 policemen, injured amid allegations of rigging and booth capturing.

The polling began on a slow note but picked up momentum as the day progressed. "About 1.23 crore (75.9%) electors have cast their vote. According to preliminary estimates, the previous record of maximum polling (72.65% in 1967) has been broken," Haryana's Chief Electoral Officer Shrikant Walgad said today. In Niyana village of Barwala segment (Hisar), around 30 persons, including 10 policemen, were injured in a clash between the Jats and Dalits over alleged bogus voting. The irate mob, which clashed with lathis and bricks, also set ablaze seven motorcycles.

There were reports of clash taking place between INLD supporters and some rival groups in Punhana in Mewat district. "Some people sustained minor injuries in the incident," said Mewat SP, SS Bhoria. A month-old infant died as she fell from her mother's lap in commotion.

Bhoria, however, claimed that the child was ill and the death was not poll-related.

In Sirsa, two persons were injured when someone opened fire after a minor clash took place between INLD and BJP workers in Sirsa. A car belonging to cavalcade of former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda was damaged in Gaushala Mohalla of Sirsa. Sources said a mob hurled stones towards Kanda when he reached near a polling station this morning.

Walgad said EVMs had been kept in strongroom amidst tight security. The counting would be held on October 19.

Sirsa leads the way

* Highest voting (84.2%) in Sirsa; lowest (62.1%) in Faridabad

* A clash between Jats and Dalits over alleged bogus voting leaves 30 injured in Niyana village of Barwala segment (Hisar). Two hurt as INLD, BJP supporters clash in Sirsa

* Stones hurled at former minister Gopal Kanda's cavalcade in Sirsa. INLD men clash with rival groups in Mewat. 





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