Jharkhand sees 55 percent polling, Maoists kill two


Ranchi : The fifth and final phase of the Jharkhand assembly elections saw a 55 percent turnout Friday, an election commission official said. Voting began on a violent note as two security personnel were killed and two others were injured in separate incidents. Two schools were also blown up by Maoist guerrillas.

Support TwoCircles

“Two security personnel were killed and two were injured in separate landmine blasts. Barring minor incidents, we have succeeded in conducting peaceful polling in Jharkhand. Adequate arrangements created confidence among voters which resulted in high voter turnout,” Jharkhand police spokesperson V.H. Deshmukh told IANS.

Maoist rebels triggered landmines in two places and blew up two schools and a small bridge. The first landmine blast took place near Mahur village in Palamau district. In the incident, head constable Satyendra Singh died and two security personnel were injured.

In the second landmine blast, which took place at Chhota Nagra village in West Singhbhum district, one official was killed.

A government high school under Gomia police station in Bokaro district was blown up late Thursday in another incident. Seven rooms of the school were damaged. Polling concluded in Gomia Dec 8.

Another school was blasted in Kawal village in Palamau district. Maoist rebels also blew up a small bridge near Kahkula and Seriyar villages of Palamau district.

In the fifth and last phase of polls, voting began at 7 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m. for 16 of the 81 assembly constituencies. In this phase, a total of 290 candidates are in the fray.

Around 75,000 security forces, including paramilitary forces, were deployed to ensure peaceful polling. Six helicopters were also used for air surveillance, air dropping and airlifting polling officials.

The 16 constituencies where voting is taking place are Chatra, Latehar, Simaria, Panki, Bishrampur, Hussainabad, Chhatarpur, Garwah, Bhavnathpur, Manika, Chaibasa, Barkatha, Jagannathpur, Sareikella, Kharsawan and Daltonganj.

The key candidates in the last phase include jailed ex-minister Kamlesh Singh, another ex-minister facing graft charges Bhanu Pratap Sahi, and Geeta Koda, wife of former state chief minister Madhu Koda.

Counting of votes will take place Dec 23.