75% voter turn out in 1st phase of panchayat elections, repolling on Dec 7

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Ex BSF jawan killed in police firing in Golaghat, pregnant woman among 12 injured in Dhemaji

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Dec 5: A total of 75 per cent voters turn out was recorded in the first phase of voting for the panchayat poll in 16 districts of the state, the state election commissioner (SEC) HN Bora informed here Wednesday.

A retired Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was killed in police firing in a polling booth in Golaghat district on Wednesday.

The jawan died when the police fired at him in self defence at No 1 Habial LP School Polling Station during the first phase of the voting for panchayat poll.

According to the report, the jawan identified as Gyanandra Rajkhowa attacked some voters with sharp weapon, which created a rukus in the polling booth in the morning.

The police team led by deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Partha Pratim Saikia and officer-in-charge Rupjyoti Dutta tried to capture Rajkhowa, but he tried to attack the police personnel. Under an unavoidable circumstance, police fired at blank to disperse him from the polling booth. Later the police fired at him to bring the situation under control.

The injured person was immediately shifted to Kushal Konwar Civil Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. According to sources, police fired at his stomach region instead of his leg.

Names of thousands of voters missing from voters list, anomalies in ballot reported

However, the father of deceased Nagen Rajkhowa said there could be many other ways by which police could have handled the situation. But they failed and killed his son. The deceased person survived by his wife and a son.

In a separate incident, at least 12 persons including a pregnant woman were injured after a CRPF vehicle rammed a makeshift BJP office at Gogamukh area in Dhemaji district.

The vehicle immediately caught fire due to leak of fuel. The incident took place at Betnihula village near Gogamukh when people were busy in first phase of voting. The injured have been shifted to hospital.

Severe anomalies in ballot papers have been reported in many polling stations in the state during the voting period. The voting was conducted in 16 districts to decide the fate of 43,515 candidates. There were altogether 92,19,938 voters.

A large number of people in several districts could not cast their votes as their names were missing from electoral rolls. There were also reports about mismatch in symbols of BJP, Congress and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) at various places.

In Biswanath district, an enraged mob made its way into a polling booth, snatched the ballot box and later, burnt down the ballot papers alleging discrepancies. Assam State Election Commission (ASEC) has ordered re-polling here as well as in some other places following violence on December 7.

“Re-polling will be held at all the places on December 7,” Bora said.

“After 3pm, 30 percent poll percentage was recorded, but still there are long queues almost in all polling stations and poll percentage will definitely increase to 75 percent plus,” Bora said.

Bora said there is no report of big sort of violence and by enlarge it is peaceful except few cases of fighting between political party activists.

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