238 charged for violence during Bihar panchayat polls


Patna : Chargesheets against 238 people, including 62 candidates, have been filed for their involvement in violent activities in the five rounds so far of the 10-phased Bihar panchayat polls, police said Thursday.

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The five rounds have passed off quite peacefully, barring the first two rounds which saw the death of a policeman and a woman at the hands of Maoists.

“Last month itself I had made it clear that police will file chargesheets against troublemakers found indulging in violence during polls within a week, and they will be prosecuted under speedy trial,” Bihar Police Chief Neelmani said.

Nearly 2.75 lakh people, whom the police term as ‘troublemakers and habitual offenders’, have signed bonds promising not to disrupt the polling process, a police officer said.

Last month, the state election commission made it clear that if a candidate is attacked or intimidated during the polls, his rival will be named in the police report.

The commission said that all the district magistrates and superintendents of police have been directed to lodge first information reports (FIRs) against people involved in violence or intimidation of candidates during the election.

The 10-phased panchayat polls began April 20 and will end May 28.

Elections in Bihar were once notorious for violence and booth capturing. In the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, 74 people were killed in poll-related violence. About 20 people were killed in the 2004 general elections and 158 during the 2001 panchayat elections