Violence mars polling in Manipur

Imphal: Voting was stalled in two polling booths of Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday after violence broke out over alleged proxy voting and dispute among the election agents, an official said.
According to sources in the election office, an estimated 75.69 per cent of over nine lakh electorate exercised their franchise till 4 pm in the second phase of the general election.
In one of the booths at Kiyamgei Muslim Makha locality in Imphal East district, unidentified men stormed into a polling station around 11:30 am and broke EVMs and VVPATs, claiming that ‘proxy voting’ was being carried out in the station, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) PK Singh told PTI. It was only after the security personnel opened fire in the air, the mob dispersed, Singh said.
In another booth in the same area, a scuffle broke out between the polling agents of opposing political parties around 3pm, derailing the voting process. The reason behind the skirmish between the agents was not clear yet, the CEO said.
Sources in the election office said that re-polling is likely to be held in the two booths of East Imphal district. Altogether 9,28,626 voters were expected to exercise their franchise at 1,300 polling stations of Inner Manipur to decide the fate of 12 candidates.
Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, who cast her vote early in the day at TG Higher Secondary School in Imphal West district, urged voters to exercise their democratic right judiciously.
The state has two parliamentary constituencies, one of which went to polls in the first phase on April 11. (PTI)

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