Chhattisgarh polls: Phase II sees 75% voter turnout; 1 killed in violence
Raipur/New Delhi: Naxal-affected Chhattisgarh recorded the highest-ever polling of around 75% as elections were held today in 72 constituencies in the second phase which went off peacefully barring an incident in which one person was killed and two others injured in firing by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel following a scuffle.
While the second phase of polling on Tuesday recorded 74.7% polling, the first phase of elections in the Naxal- affected areas of Bastar in the state in which 18 constituencies went to polls on 11 November witnessed 75.53%.
The state recorded a voter turnout of 71.09% in the 2008 assembly elections.
“It was a peaceful poll marked by very impressive turnout. Barring one incident, polling was very peaceful in the second phase of elections in which 72 constituencies went to polls today...The voter tunrout is the highest-ever so far,” deputy election commissioner R. Balakrishnan told reporters in Delhi.
A man was killed and two others were injured in firing by CRPF personnel at Bhindarwani polling booth of Saja assembly constituency in Bemetara district this afternoon following a scuffle with a group of people.
Polling was withheld for about half-an-hour after the incident and later it resumed, officials said.
According to state DGP Ram Niwas, the incident took place when five people in an inebriated state reached Bhindarwani village and started arguing with a CRPF personnel who was on duty at the polling booth. There were conflicting versions on the firing with one claiming it was accidental and another saying the CRPF man pulled the trigger in the heat of the moment. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident and the CRPF man has been removed from duty, the DGP said.
“The injured were admitted to Durg hospital,” he said, adding, the body of the deceased has been brought to Raipur for postmortem.
A total of 14 million voters were to cast their votes to elect 72 candidates in which 843 candidates, including 75 women, were in the fray.
The Election Commission has seized cash and other items of Rs.8.69 crore and 38,780 litres of liquor valued at Rs.1.3 crore during the second phase of elections. A total of 22 paid news cases have also been detected and notices sent.