Over 70% turnout in Assam polls’ second phase; 22 hurt in violence

The last phase of Assembly polls in Assam passed off peacefully with a voter turnout of 70.35%.

Guwahati: Barring some clashes and police
firing that injured 22 people, the second and last phase of
Assembly polls in Assam passed off peacefully on Monday with a
voter turnout of 70.35 per cent.

At least 22 people were injured and one of them was
hospitalised as forces baton charged voters and fired in air
twice to scare away a rampaging mob which torched a police
vehicle in Rangiya, official sources said.

Sporadic incidents of violence were also reported from
Mazbat, Sipajhar, Dhubri, Jagiroad and Samoguri seats.

Giving details of polling percentage and other
incidents, Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla said in
Delhi that there were clashes between voters and Central
security forces at four polling stations.

Seven persons, including three women, were injured as
BSF men beat up some people at polling stations under Rangiya
constituency of Kamrup (Rural) district, following rumour that
rigging was taking place.

This infuriated people as a mob soon gathered, pelted
stones, ransacked the polling booths, set ablaze a parked
police vehicle and damaged three others.

Police then baton charged the crowd and fired in the
air but people refused to budge demanding that the BSF men
remove their uniform and apologise to the public, sources

As police fired in the air for the second time to
scare away the protesters, 15 people tripped while running
away from the spot with one referred to the GMC Hospital.

Polling was stopped in the voting centre and election
officials left with the EVMs and polling materials, they said.

Polling was vitiated in another polling station when
some persons forcibly entered and cast 11 votes, Shukla said.

While there were clashes in one or two polling
stations, polling parties were changed in three places
following allegations of bias, he said, adding polling was
boycotted in two places.

"Till 5.30 pm, well beyond two hours of scheduled end
of polling at 3.00 pm, the poll percentage was 70.35," Assam`s
Additional Chief Electoral Officer M C Sahu said here.

The total number of voters for this phase of elections
was 96,77,113 in 14 central and lower Assam districts.

Fate of heavyweights including two-time former chief
minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and senior ministers Himanta
Biswa Sarma and Rockybul Hussain will be decided in the second

Polling for 62 Assembly constituencies was held on
April 4 in a peaceful manner in the first phase which
witnessed a 73.03 per cent voter turnout.


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