December 2, 2009 5:27:24 pm
The second phase of polling in 14 assembly constituencies in Jharkhand on Wednesday saw a turnout of 54.3 per cent amid a boycott call by Maoists who triggered a landmine blast that killed a CISF jawan and blew up a culvert.
Harpal Singh,who hailed from Hoshairpur in Punjab,died in the blast at Teliabahiar in Naxal-hit Giridih district,informed IGP V H Deshmukh.
The blast was triggered when the security personnel were patrolling on foot soon after polling began this morning,Giridih Deputy Commissioner Vandana Dadil said.
In another incident in Giridih,Maoists blew up a culvert at Matiobera,police said.
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All the 14 seats have strong Maoist presence. Joint Chief Electoral Officer A K Sinha said the voting percentage might go up.
Barring the landmine blast,polling was by and large peaceful,he said,adding over 100 people were arrested from different areas. A total of 53 EVMs had to be replaced following defects,Sinha said.
The third phase of elections to the 81-member assembly will be held on December 8,fourth on December 12 and the fifth and final phase on December 18. The first phase was held on November 25. Counting will take place on December 23.
Former ministers Bandhu Tirkey (Independent,Mandar),Chandraprakash Choudhary (Ajsu Party,Ramgarh) and Sudesh Mahato (Ajsu Party,Silli) are among the 259 candidates trying their luck.
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