Huge turnout but Panchayat polls marred by violent incidents


IMPHAL, September 13: The 4th Gram Panchayat election in four valley districts of the state witnessed a huge turnout today with more than 80 percent voters queuing up to exercise their franchise.

Even though most polling stations have been reported peaceful, certain eruptions of violence including booth capturing were also reported during the day.

In the Imphal East district disturbances were reported at Chanam Sandrok LP School, Yambem GP Andro Khunou Ward No I.

Two agents of a candidate were hospitalised after supporters of another candidate attacked the two inside the Chanam Sandrok LP School polling station.

The two injured identified as Takhellambam Kameshore, 55 son of (L) Ibotombi of Chanam Sandrok Mamang Leikai and Thiyam Nabakumar, 47 son of Tolhan of CHanam Sandrok Mayai Leikai have been discharged from the RIMS this late evening.

Both were injured on their heads.

Meanwhile, a source informed that one Huidrom Dharmendra, 37 son of H Ikaijao of Chanam Sandrok Awang Leikai has been charged of attacking the two.

Sources also said that the incident happened this morning around 10am when the younger brother of current pradhan came and started firing from a small firearm around the polling station.

Soon after some of his companions came inside the station and assaulted the two.

Meanwhile, polling at Yambem GP Andro Khunou Ward No I was blocked after violence erupted in the morning.

Source informed that fighting broke out between supporters of two candidates forcing the authorities to block polling completely for the day.

A Zilla Parishad candidate of Thanga Pt I, Bishenpur district identified as Haobijam Ibochouba was injured after workers of another candidate Oinam Mangi assaulted him at the polling station.

On the other hand, Unapat Heinom Village GP in Thoubal district wore a deserted look throughout the day as the voters failed to turn up to cast votes.

Booth capturing was reported at Wangjing Khunou, Thoubal.

Meanwhile, Wangkhem Gram Panchayat Pradhan Md Helim of Yairipok Singda was arrested by police for booth capturing at the Singa Bishnunaha LP Madrassa Polling station this evening around 2:15pm.

After news about his capturing ballot box at the polling station spread out, locals started pelting stones at the polling stations.

Police fired tear gas shells to control the crowd. Voting continued around 3:15pm after the situation was brought under control.

A total of 9096 polling personnel were deployed for the 1516 polling stations today.

Security for each polling station includes 30 police personnel including Manipur Rifle, VDF and commandos.

Polling was open from 7am till 4pm in all polling stations.


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