Friday, April 24, 2009

5 cops killed by Naxals, over 55 per cent turnout in Phase 2

New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) Five policemen were killed in in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district as sporadic violence by Maoists in the state and Jharkhand marred the second phase of Lok Sabha elections, which drew over 55 percent of the nearly 200 million voters today across 12 states and union territories.
The Maoists, who have called for a boycott of the elections, detonated a landmine at a culvert near Karpoori Chowk at Mohabbatpur village this evening, about 60 km from here, killing five policemen including a sub-inspector, IGP (Tirhut zone) R S Bhatti said, adding the attack took place when the policemen were escorting a vehicle carrying EVMs.

Two poll officials and a magistrate had a narrow escape when Maoists carried out blasts in Bihar and Jharkhand where security forces repulsed a Naxalite bid to disrupt the second phase of elections after a fierce hour-long gunbattle.

An executive magistrate Rajendra Prasad and a constable were wounded when Maoists lobbed a bomb at their vehicle near Dadi-Srirampur village in Giridh district in Jharkhand. They were going to a polling station in the district, about 200km from Ranchi.

In a separate incident, security forces foiled the Maoists' attempt to disrupt polling in Bansdera in East Singhbhum, 165 km from the Jharkhand capital, after a fierce hour-long gunbattle with the ultras.

However, the violence in the second and the largest phase covering 140 seats was much less compared to the first one a week ago when 18 people were killed by Naxals in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur cast his vote at a polling station in Gauhati Lok Sabha segment in Assam amid high security. PTI

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