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Civilian victim of poll firing

Patna, May 7: The death of a civilian in police firing in Sitamarhi, stray violence in Muzaffarpur and high turnout marked the Lok Sabha polls today in seven constituencies in the state.

The state’s chief electoral officer, Ajay V. Naik, said a bullet hit the victim, Khobari Rai, when the police opened fire at a mob to prevent booth capturing at polling station number 224 of the Bathnaha Assembly constituency in Sitamarhi. A detailed report from the district magistrate and the superintendent of police was awaited, he said.

Sources claimed Rai was the first civilian victim of poll violence in the state during the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

Naik said the average turnout in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha polls in the state was 56.06 per cent, an increase of 11.3 per cent from the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. The stakes of the JD(U) were high in this phase, as it had won four of the seven seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. The RJD and the BJP bagged two and one, respectively.

Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Maharajganj, Saran, Hajipur and Ujiarpur of Bihar went to the polls today with 57 other constituencies spread over Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir. The polling passed off peacefully barring a few stray incidents.

Priyanka Gandhi’s secretary Preeti Sahay was on Wednesday asked to leave the high-profile Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh after the BJP filed a complaint with the Election Commission, alleging that she was trying to influence voters in the constituency. Acting on the complaint of the BJP candidate, Smriti Irani, Preeti was asked to leave the constituency because her presence was against the rules, district electoral officer Jagat Raj Tripathi said. Rahul Gandhi is the Congress candidate in Amethi. ( )

In Bihar, the fate of former chief minister Rabri Devi and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan were sealed in EVMs today besides 116 other candidates. Both appeared confident after the polls. “I shall win and the BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy will lose his deposit,” said Rabri, who is making an attempt to step into the shoes of her husband Lalu Prasad after his conviction in a fodder scam case.

Paswan was sure that the people of Hajipur would create history again by ensuring his victory. He had lost there in 2009.

Naik, the chief electoral officer, said except an incident each of bomb explosion and firing in Muzaffarpur and the death of the civilian in Sitamarhi, the polling in the seven constituencies was peaceful. Total 81 people were taken into custody for creating disturbances at polling stations.