Maoists disrupt panchayat polls in Jharkhand

The Maoists set on fire three vehicles and disrupted voting at a polling booth in Jharkhand`s Garwah district during the last leg of the panchayat polls Friday, police said.

Ranchi: The Maoists set on fire three vehicles and disrupted voting at a polling booth in Jharkhand`s Garwah district during the last leg of the panchayat polls Friday, police said.

"Maoist guerrillas set on fire three vehicles at Matgari of Garwah district. At one polling booth, they tried to disrupt the polling," Jharkhand police spokesperson R.K. Mallik said.

"Polling resumed after police and senior administrative officials reached the spot," he added.

The fifth and final phase of panchayat polls began amid tight security arrangements in Jharkhand at 7 a.m. and in the first four hours 25 to 30 percent polling has taken place. Voting ends at 3 p.m.
Balloting is taking place for 242 panchayats spread over 14 blocks of five districts. A total 10,262 candidates are in fray.

The five-phase panchayat elections began Nov 27.
The last panchayat polls were held in 1979 when the areas that make up Jharkhand were part of Bihar. The state was carved from Bihar Nov 15, 2000, but panchayat polls were delayed due to a legal battle over reservations for tribals.

IANS

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