The second phase of voting for Lok Sabha election 2019 in the inner parliamentary constituency of Manipur conducted on Thursday concluded with 80.47 per cent voter turnout till 7 pm. The voting was accompanied by sporadic incidents of violence at two locations.
An incident of violence took place at polling station 6/10 at Kiyamgei High Madrasaa in Imphal East district resulting in injuries to two polling officials and a handful of voters.
Police resorted to firing blank rounds and baton charge after voters in the polling stations destroyed EVM, VVPAT machine and security camera. The injured polling officials included the presiding officer and micro observer of the polling booth. The exact number of voters injured in the clash could not be ascertained.
The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manipur has informed that FIR was lodged in connection with the incident at the 6/10 Kyamgei polling station.
Rangitabali Waikhom, District Election Officer Imphal East, who rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation suggested for a fresh poll.
“We have come to take control of the situation to continue the voting. But after observing the situation it will be best to conduct a re-poll as there is less chance that voters would turn up even if voting was continued,” said Waikhom.
The mob stormed into the polling station and went on rampage alleging that they were not allowed to cast their votes freely.
The voters alleged that the polling officers and the polling party played delaying tactics and stopped them from casting their vote.
It was also alleged that the polling officials misguided the voters particularly the aged persons and persons with disabilities in selecting the candidates of their choice. Moreover, while voting supposed to begin at 7 am it was delayed for more than an hour.
According to the injured presiding officer, Lovely Singh, they were attacked by the voters after he denied the request of the polling agents to allow proxy voting to some of the voter’s on behalf of their relatives.
In a similar incident, EVM was also damaged by partisan individuals and miscreants at about 3 pm at polling station number 6/20 in the same area.
In the aftermath of two the incidents, voting was stopped in both the booths immediately.