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Over 55% turnout in phase II, stray violence by naxals

Over 55% turnout in phase II, stray violence by naxals
PTI
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First Published: Thu, Apr 23 2009. 11 28 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Apr 23 2009. 11 28 PM IST
New Delhi: More than 55% of the nearly 200 million voters today exercised their franchise in the second phase of Lok Sabha polling across 12 states which was by and large peaceful barring stray violence in naxal-infested areas Jharkhand and Bihar.
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Two poll officials and a magistrate had a narrow escape when Maoists carried out blasts in Bihar and Jharkhand where security forces repulsed a naxalite bid to disrupt the second phase of elections after a fierce hour-long gunbattle.
An executive magistrate Rajendra Prasad and a constable were wounded when Maoists lobbed a bomb at their vehicle near Dadi-Srirampur village in Giridh district in Jharkhand. They were going to a polling station in the district, about 200km from Ranchi.
In a separate incident, security forces foiled the Maoists’ attempt to disrupt polling in Bansdera in East Singhbhum, 165 km from the Jharkhand capital, after a fierce hour-long gunbattle with the ultras.
However, the violence in the second and the largest phase covering 140 seats was much less compared to the first one a week ago when 18 people were killed by naxals in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Gaur cast his vote at a polling station in Gauhati Lok Sabha segment in Assam amid high security.
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First Published: Thu, Apr 23 2009. 11 28 PM IST