Two killed as 54 percent vote in Bihar panchayat polls

Patna, April 28 (IANS) Two people were killed and at least 50 others injured, among them police officials, in sporadic violence on Thursday during the second phase of the panchayat elections in Bihar, officials said.

More than 54 percent voters cast their vote to elect 27,514 members of the three-tier rural Panchayati Raj Institutions, officials said.

“Two people, including a village head, were shot dead in Saharsa district. Police suspect political rivalry behind both the incidents,” a state Election Commission official said.

According to police, clashes between rival groups were reported from Nalanda, Muzaffarpur, Khagaria, Bhojpur, Saharsa, West Champaran, Supaul, Siwan and Kaimur districts, in which dozens of people were injured.

Police were attacked at many places, chased by supporters of different candidates.

The official said that polling began on a peaceful note amid tight security and no violence was reported initially.

In the first phase of the 10-phase polls, one person was killed and over a dozen injured in group clashes.

Around 59.85 lakh people were eligible to vote in the second phase at 12,719 polling stations in 60 blocks spread over 38 districts. The state Election Commission had deployed 3,742 patrolling magistrates.

Of the 7.38 lakh nominations, 3.85 lakh were by women against 50 percent seats reserved for them.

The staggered elections will conclude on May 30.

–IANS

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