Three die in 1st phase of panchayat elections in Bihar
Patna, May 15 (UNI) Sporadic incidence of violence claiming three lives marked the first phase of Panchayat elections in Bihar which began here today amid tight security.
Official sources here said shoot-outs between rival groups were reported in Vaishali and East Champaran districts. Three people were killed in a shoot-out at a polling booth in Majhaul village under Vaishali police station area. Two people, including circle officer Asutosh Kumar posted in the village as a magistrate, and his driver sustained injuries in the incident.
According to sources more than ten people were injured, three of them seriuosly, in a firing between rival groups at Laukai Belva village under Pipra police station area of East Champaran district.
Meanwhile, state Electoral officer D P Maheshwari said here polling was going on at 13,721 booths in 62 blocks. About 80 per cent of the total polling booths were sensitive. Altogether 55,928 candidates were in the fray for 13,403 posts in the first phase.
According to him 55,67,041 voters were exercising their franchise amid tight security arrangements. The administration had sounded an alert and warned of stern action against booth grabbers and those trying to disrupt the poll process.
In addition to the district police, home guards, Bihar Military Police and Special Auxiliary Force, 43 companies of central para-militry forces had been deployed for smooth conduct of the elections.
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