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Andhra Pradesh polls peaceful barring incidents of political violence

PTI | Last Updated: Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 00:09

Hyderabad: Polling was by and large peaceful in 175 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in 13 coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts of Andhra Pradesh, in the second phase of polling today, barring incidents of violence between political parties, a top police officer said.

In a Left Wing Extremist incident in Visakhapatnam district, Maoists took away 2 electronic voting machines (EVMs) and set them afire outside the booth in Palakajeedi village of Koyyur mandal and also burnt a polling staff jeep.

Repolling has been ordered by Andhra Pradesh State Chief Electoral Officer, DGP B Prasada Rao said.

Andhra Pradesh police along with central paramilitary forces provided effective security at all polling stations, he said.

At two places in Guntur district and at Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, police had to open fire in the air to disperse aggressive crowds near polling stations.

At a polling station in Ramireddy Palem village of Rompicherla mandal, YSR Congress agents dragged a BJP polling agent outside the polling booth.
After police intervened, the mob became violent and police fired into the air to disperse it, the DGP said.

At Devagudi village of of Jammalamadugu, Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar (Commandant, Third APSP Battalion) on election duty stopped the brother of Adinarayana Reddy, the contesting candidate, after which police officers at the spot were obstructed by YSR Congress supporters.

The mob became violent and pelted stones at the APSP and other police personnel, after which CRPF personnel opened fire to control the situation.

In Nadavaluru village of Ramachandrapuram mandal of Chittoor district, television news channel reporters staged a protest on the road for being denied protection to them, after they were injured when followers of YSR Congress and TDP clashed with each other.

At some places in Kadapa, Anantapur, Kurnool, Chittoor, Guntur, West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts, there were complaints of polling agents of TDP or YSR Congress being assaulted by supporters of political parties.

Stone pelting incidents were also reported in Kadapa, Anantapur, Guntur and Chittoor districts after which the police intervened and dispersed clashing mobs.

Polling continued without disruption at all these places.

"The overall situation was peaceful and polling went on uninterrupted to record a significantly high voting percentage in the area. Cases are being registered and investigation is being taken up in all reported incidents," the AP police chief said.

Pickets have been posted and patrolling intensified in trouble-prone areas to prevent post-poll violence, even as strong rooms housing electronic voting machines have been provided adequate security as per Election Commission of India guidelines.

For guarding these strong rooms, 3,700 paramilitary personnel have been deployed all over the state, besides the district police, the AP police chief said.
Referring to the attack on two senior police officers in Kadapa district, besides damage to their vehicles, Prasada Rao termed these incidents as "unfortunate".
"The police officials were regulating the queue when they came under attack. We have taken this matter very seriously. Stern action will be initiated against those responsible for the incident," he said.
Similarly, the Andhra Pradesh police also termed as "unfortunate", an incident of attack on a media vehicle in Chittoor district, adding that action would be taken against those responsible.

First Published: Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 00:09

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