| Smoke billows from a can bomb at Bankebazaar on Thursday. Picture by Suman |
Gaya, April 10: At least 10 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered in Gaya and defused during the first phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state today.
Another bomb was also defused in Aurangabad parliamentary constituency. Besides, a few incidents of scuffle between two groups, damaging electronic voting machines (EVMs), poll boycott at six booths were reported from three constituencies of the Magadh division — Gaya, Aurangabad and Nawada.
There would be re-poll in two booths of Nawada constituency, which includes booth Nos. 255 and 256 of the Naxalite-hit Kauakol area.
According to reports, 10 IEDs weighing between 10kg and 30kg, including one each from Paraiya, Dumaria, Imamganj while five from Bankebazaar police station area were recovered and defused successfully.
The scuffle took place at a couple of places in the Gaya parliamentary constituency area. Police had to fire at least six rounds in the air at booth No. 180 in Rahimbigha after two groups indulged in a scuffle and stone pelting. At booth No. 141 in Wazirganj block, at least eight persons were injured in stone pelting between two groups. Voters boycotted polls at one booth each at Guraru, Gurua and Paraiya blocks. Voters boycotted election in at least six booths on the issue of power, road and school. These include booth Nos. 7, 72 and 112 in Konch block and booth number 165 in Tekari (falling in Aurangabad parliamentary constituency).
In Nawada, troublemakers made a bid to disturb polling at three booths — Nos. 148, 148A and 149.
Three persons were injured in a scuffle between two groups at these booths stationed in the building of upgraded middle school, Manjaur in Warisaliganj. Troublemakers broke the EVM and beat up the polling staff there. Security personnel arrested one person in this connection. At booth No. 179 too at village Bishunpur in Warisaliganj, strongmen beat up the voters.
Security personnel found a crude bomb from booth No. 232 made in the building of a primary school in Kutumba Assembly segment. The bomb was defused successfully. At most of the booths in Gaya town and Bodhgaya, percentage of voter turnout in the first half till 1pm could not cross 50 per cent.
At booth Nos. 23, 23A and 24 on Project Girls’ High School campus in Bodhgaya only 296 out of 848, 195 out of 764 and 262 out of 924 votes were polled till 10am. At booth No. 185 made in the road construction department office in Gaya town, 412 out of 1,390 votes were polled till 1pm.
At booth Nos. 181, 182 and 183 made on the campus of Haridas Seminary High School, only a few voters (not more than five) were found at 1.10pm.
Out of 1,108 voters at booth No. 181, 463 votes were polled, at booth No. 182, 357 votes were polled of total 809, while at booth No. 183, 405 votes were polled of 859 till 1.10pm. In Muslim-dominated pockets also voter turnout was low. At booth No. 125 and 126 made on the campus of divisional forest officer’s office only 277 and 297 of 716 and 812 voters, respectively, could be polled.