First phase of Bihar panchayat polls peaceful, 501 held
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 18:24
Patna: At least 501 people were arrested as the first phase of the Bihar panchayat polls passed off peacefully barring stray incidents and a poll boycott call by Maoists.

Voting took place for 28,639 posts of village chiefs, sarpanchs, gram panchayat members, gram kutchery panch, panchayat samiti members and district board members with 1.43 lakh candidates in the fray.

Director General of Police Neelmani said 501 preventive arrests were made at different places while the polls were 'entirely peaceful'.

A presiding officer, three candidates each for district boards and a village chief were among those arrested from Nalanda, Bhojpur, Gopalganj, Saran, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Shaharsa, Samastipur, Araria, Nawada, Bhagalpur and Patna, Neelmani said.

Altogether 94 vehicles and around 11000 in cash were seized during the polling, he said.

Angered over securitymen beating up a child at a polling station, local people attacked the official vehicle of Block Development Officer S N Jha at Birakh panchayat under Sursand police station in Sitamarhi district, official sources said.

While Jha escaped unhurt, two policemen were injured in the attack, they said.

In Nawada, anti-socials who tried to disturb polling clashed with policemen at Khandsari under Kauakaul block, they said.

A presiding officer was removed following protests by locals that he was favouring a particular candidate at Masaurhi in Patna district.

Reports of intimidation of voters were received from Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Patna and Nawada districts.

A candidate for the post of village head Raj Kumar Singh was killed and three others injured when a crude bomb went off at Marpa village under Supi block in Sitamarhi district late last night, the sources said.

Neelmani said security forces, including the central paramilitary, besides SAP and BMP personnel were deployed at polling stations.

The 10-phased polls would end on May 28.


First Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 18:24

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