Bihar panchayat polls: 10 injured in clashes

Patna, May 2 (IANS) At least 10 people were injured and over a dozen arrested in incidents of violence on Monday during the third phase of the panchayat elections in Bihar, officials said.

More than 30 percent voters cast their vote to elect 40,943 members of the three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions, they said.

“Ten people were injured in violent clashes between rival groups and over a dozen, including a home guard, arrested,” a state election commission official said.

The home guard was arrested in Jamui district on the order of the district magistrate. He was allegedly influencing voters at Razla in Jhajha town.

According to police, clashes between rival groups were reported from Muzaffarpur, Lakhisarai, Jamui, Arwal, Jehanabad, Araria, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, and Siwan districts.

Police were attacked and chased by supporters of different candidates at many places.

The election commission official said that polling had begun peacefully amid tight security and no violence was reported initially.

In the first and second phase of the 10-phase polls, one person each was killed and over a dozen injured in group clashes.

There are 65,95,475 people eligible to vote in the third phase of the elections.

The election commission has provided 13,307 polling stations in 62 blocks of 38 districts and deployed 3997 patrolling magistrates.

The staggered elections will conclude on May 30.

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