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Violence disrupts poll process in Manipur

Violence disrupts poll process in Manipur
A polling station ransacked by a mob in Imphal East district on Thursday. (NP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, Apr 18 | Publish Date: 4/18/2019 12:05:08 PM IST

Voting was stalled in two polling booths of Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday after violence broke out over alleged proxy voting and dispute among the election agents, an official said.

At least dozen people including two polling officials sustained injuries in a clash between supporters of two rival parties. 

According to sources in the election office, an estimated 75.69 per cent turnout was recorded. 

Security personnel also opened fire in the air after a mob ransacked a polling station at Kiyamgei Muslim Leikai in Imphal East district.

In one of the booths at Kiyamgei Muslim Makha locality in Imphal East district, unidentified men stormed into a polling station around 11.30 am and broke EVMs and VVPATs, claiming that “proxy voting” was being carried out in the station, Chief Electoral Officer PK Singh told PTI.

Six of the injured people were rushed to a local primary health centre for medical treatment.

The reason behind the skirmish between the agents was not clear as yet, the CEO said.

Sources in the election office said that re-polling was likely in the two booths of East Imphal district.

Polling officials deputed at very polling station alleged that the violence erupted after they prohibited proxy voting. Violent incidents were also reported at some polling stations in Andro (home constituency of state forest minister Th Shyamkumar), Thongju (home constituency of works minister Th Biswajit) and Heingang (home constituency of chief minister N Biren) Assembly segments.

At least three people including a former pradhan sustained injuries following a fight between workers of BJP and Congress at one of the six polling stations where malpractices were alleged.

Media persons covering the incidents were also threatened allegedly by BJP workers at some places.

Except these violent incidents and tension over alleged malpractices, the voting in other polling stations across was conducted peacefully. 

However, delay in the commencement of the voting due to EVM and VVPAT glitches was reported at some polling stations, resulting to the extension of the polling hours.

The polling started at 7 am and was to conclude at 4 pm. However, at many polling stations, the voting went on till 6 pm.

As per a report from the state CEO office, the overall voter turnout was 75.69% at 6 pm. The final overall voter turnout percentage will be known only the presiding officers of each polling station submitted detail reports at their respective DEOs, officials of the state CEO said.

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