Over 58 Percent Voting in Jharkhand Final Phase, Maoists kill two

Ranchi, Dec 18 (IANS) The fifth and final phase of the Jharkhand assembly elections Friday saw 58.12 percent voter turnout, an election official said. The polling was marred by incidents of violence with two security personnel killed and two others injured, while two schools were blown up by Maoist guerrillas.

"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.


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Title: Over 58 Percent Voting in Jharkhand Final Phase, Maoists kill two

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