High turnout, 1 killed in Nepal polls

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Kathmandu, Apr 10 (UNI) Heavy turnout marked the first ever Constituent assembly (CA) elections held in Nepal today amidst reports about sporadic incidents of violence in which one Nepali Congress (NC) cadre lost his life.

One NC cadre Ganga Das died due to head injury and more than 7 persons injured when a group of Maoist cadres clashed with Nepali Congress (NC) supporters at Ramnagar Bhutaha polling centre in Sunsari district in eastern Nepal. Voting was suspended in the area following the clashes.

Earlier people were seen in long queues at polling booths across the nation and the turnout was likely be very high, local media reports said from various districts.

The turnout in the district was overwhelming with 55 per cent in Kathmandu, Himalayan Times reported. The turnout was 72 per cent in Lamjung district in western Nepal by mid day.

The turn out was over 60 per cent in Lamjung, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Parsa, Banke, Bajhang, Surkhet and Mugu districts by the middle of the day, the paper said.

Over 55 percent voters exercised their franchise by mid day in Kathmandu, Darchula, Chitwan, Bhaktapur, Mustang, Darchula and Lalitpur.

Some districts saw less than 50 per cent turn out by mid day but the trend is encouraging. Jumla, Kalikot and Dailekh district is reported less than 50 per cent voter turnout by mid day.

There were reports of clashes and attempt of booth capturing in some districts.

Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League (YCL) cadres this afternoon captured three polling centres in Lalitpur under the constituency no 1, Himalayan Times reported.

''YCL cadres captured Kaleshowr, Gumdi and Thulo Durlung poling centres and they also prevented anti-Maoist voters from casting their votes there,'' the paper said quoting its reporter as saying.

District police office said that YCL cadres also kidnapped eight persons including a Nepali Congress polling agent from the area, it said.

Despite some sporadic incidents, the voting was being conducted peacefully across the nation.

The CA polls is historic as it decides the future of 240 year old monarchy in the Himalayan nation.

UNI XC SZ SK HT1808

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