A blast and some IEDs as voters beat ’09

Outside a booth in Digha as CRPF personnel keep vigil. express Outside a booth in Digha as CRPF personnel keep vigil. express

The 121 parliamentary constituencies that went to polls today across 12 states continued the trend of high voting witnessed so far. While voting was largely peaceful, various kinds of disturbances were reported from Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Among LWE-affected areas, Bokaro saw a landmine explosion followed by an ambush and firing in Lubupahad. Four personnel (including a driver) of the CRPF were injured.

Two polling booths were rigged with IEDs in Jharkhand and voting was carried out in makeshift camps, the CRPF said. “In Chaibasa in West Singhbum and Galudih in East Singhbhum, the Maoists had planted IEDs right inside the booths. The bomb disposal squad could not reach the spot on time and decided to hold the polls in makeshift camps,” said Dilip Trivedi, CRPF DG.

The 121 constituencies included the Maoist-affected areas of Giridih, Hazaribagh and Khunti in Jharkhand, Kanker, Mahsamund and Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh, Jehanabad and Munger in Bihar, and Nabrangpur in Orissa.

Of the 125 IEDs recovered so far since central forces were inducted, 61 weighing more than 700 kg have been recovered from Bihar alone. On Thursday, 11 were recovered from various areas.

A sector officer appointed by the Election Commission was found attempting to rig polls in connivance with the polling staff in a polling station in Bihar. A member of the EC’s flying squad was arrested following alleged misconduct inside a polling station in Orissa.

In Orissa, too, a group attacked a polling station and damaged EVMs. In Uttar Pradesh, two booths in Rampur saw 50-60 people entered two booths and cast 40 votes. An FIR had been registered against these people while no arrests had been made. EC officials said that repoll would be done here.