Nagaland poll ends amid violence, 75 pc turnout

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Kohima, Mar 5: More than 75 per cent of nearly 1.3 million electorate today exercised their democratic rights to elect the 60- member 11th Nagaland Legislative Assembly, amid sporadic incidents of violence. The election ended at 1600. Election Secretariat sources said although detailed reports were not available, information received so far said 75 per cent of the total 13,00,507 electorate exercised their franchise in 1,780 polling stations in the state to choose from 218 candidates, including four women. The figure might be higher once details are received by the Election Secretariat here.

Sources said re-polling was likely to be ordered in at least 15 polling stations as there were reports of anomalies and damage to EVMs by miscreants. There was delay in start of polling in some stations due to late arrival of polling officials. The Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) might extend voting time in those booths, sources said. Reports of bomb blast, intimidation of voters, attempts to capture booths and clashes between political party workers came in from many parts of the state. A bomb blast was reported in Chukilan under Tyui constituency in Wokha district. But there was no casualty. However, major incidents were avoided owing to tight security.

A major attack was also averted in Dimapur when Assam Rifles personnel recovered lethal weapons meant to attack polling booths. Official sources said the AR personnel intercepted a vehicle, carrying a mine, two hand grenades and two AK-47 rifles. The arms were recovered but the occupants managed to flee, the sources said, adding that the weapons were brought to attack some polling stations. Three EVMs were damaged by some miscreants--two in Tyui and the other in Pfutsero under Phek district. Meanwhile, re-polling was ordered in ten polling stations under Zunheboto constituency and five under Satakha constituency, sources stated. Polling though was overall peaceful, the sources said. In the arena are twelve political parties and Independents. Prominent among the candidates are Mr Neiphiu Rio(NPF) from Northern Angami-II in Kohima district. He headed the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) Government before the President's rule was imposed in the state on January 3.

UNI

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