50% turnout in Jharkhand poll, landmine blast kills jawan

The second phase of polling in 14 assembly constituencies in Jharkhand on Wednesday saw a turnout of 50 per cent amid a boycott call by Maoists who triggered a landmine blast that killed a CISF jawan and blew up a culvert.

Ranchi: The second phase of polling in 14
assembly constituencies in Jharkhand on Wednesday saw a turnout of 50 per cent amid a boycott call by Maoists who triggered a
landmine blast that killed a CISF jawan and blew up a culvert.

Harpal Singh, who hailed from Hoshairpur in Punjab,
died in the blast at Teliabahiar in Naxal-hit Giridih
district, IGP V H Deshmukh told PTI here.

The blast was triggered when the security personnel
were patrolling on foot soon after polling began this morning,
Giridih Deputy Commissioner Vandana Dadil said.

In another incident in Giridih, Maoists blew up a
culvert at Matiobera, police said.

All the 14 seats have strong Maoist presence.

Joint Chief Electoral Officer A K Sinha said the
voting percentage might go up.

Barring the landmine blast, polling was by and large
peaceful, he said, adding over 100 people were arrested from
different areas. A total of 53 EVMs had to be replaced
following defects, Sinha said.

The third phase of elections to the 81-member assembly
will be held on December 8, fourth on December 12 and the
fifth and final phase on December 18. The first phase was held
on November 25. Counting will take place on December 23.

Former ministers Bandhu Tirkey (Independent, Mandar),
Chandraprakash Choudhary (Ajsu Party, Ramgarh) and Sudesh
Mahato (Ajsu Party, Silli) are among the 259 candidates trying
their luck.

PTI