Maoist violence in Bihar as polling under way


Patna : Maoists Sunday abducted four polling officials and released them in an hour in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district and also attempted to ransack a polling station during the second phase of the assembly elections.

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“The Maoists released the kidnapped officials after one hour,” a Sitamarhi district police official said, adding that the incident took place in Runni Saidpur area.

The rebels tried to ransack a booth in the same area as well.

“Maoists tried to ransack a polling station in Sitamarhi,” Additional Director General of Police P.K. Thakur said.

The second phase of polling is taking place in 45 constituencies.

Voters were seen queuing outside most of the polling booths soon after elections began at 7 a.m.

“Voters are slowly coming to the polling booths to exercise their right to vote,” said an official at the chief electoral officer office here.

An official source in the state home department said that they were tracking Maoists’ movement by using technology like Google Earth.

Bihar police chief Neelmani told IANS over phone that tight security arrangements were made to ensure free and fair poll.

A total of 9,844,981 voters are eligible to vote in the second phase that will decide the fate of 623 candidates. Most of the 9,952 polling booths are in the rural areas.

Balloting is underway in six districts – Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Motihari, Sheohar and Sitamarhi.

The next election rounds will be held Oct 28, Nov 1, 9 and 20. Votes will be counted Nov 24. In the first phase Thursday, balloting took place for 47 of Bihar’s 243 assembly seats.