First phase of Bihar panchayat polls peaceful, 501 held

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.

PTI



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

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