Bihar: Violence in third phase of Panchayat polls

Incidents of violence and booth capturing were reported on Friday in Bihar during the third phase of Panchayat elections, voting for which was held in 35 districts.

An incident of booth capturing took place at Sohraja village in the Naxal-affected Jamui district.

A group of miscreants carrying batons and iron rod entered the booths and tried to cast votes in favour of a particular candidate. As soon as they entered the booths, the polling and presiding officers objected, following which they were manhandled.

The polling and presiding officers, however, managed to push them away. As a large number of supporters of that particular candidate were present outside the booth, they pelted stones and attacked with batons.

Due to police inaction, the voters have lodged a complaint with the SHO of Gidhaur police station, but instead of taking appropriate action, he reportedly abused them.

Due to violence, the polling was disrupted for more than 2 hours.

The situation was normalised after the SDM and DSP of the respective zone arrived with the adequate force.

In another incident, Jamui police arrested Pawan Kumar Bind, a candidate contesting for the post Mukhiya (Village Head), for influencing the voters at polling booths.

Bind, along with his supporters, was visiting every booth in his constituency and influencing people to cast votes in his favour. His supporters were also seen applying pressure on voters standing in the queue for voting.

In Vaishali, the villagers accused the officials of changing the EVMs. The angry voters and supporters of the candidates demanded cancellation of election.

The incident was reported from Chandsarai, booth number 255.

The supporters of Beena Sinha, the candidate of Panchayat Samiti involved in agitation. They alleged that the police personnel changed the EVMs.

Following the incident, Amit Aman, the zonal magistrate of Jandaha said: “We have received written complaint from a candidate and investigation is currently underway.”