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Stray violence marks 1st phase of Manipur polls; 78.03% turnout recorded, 2 die during poll duty

A few  incidents of EVM damages and preventive firing in air by security personnel were reported in some polling stations of 51-Saitu, 57-Henglep and 60-Singhat Assembly constituencies, an EC official said.

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Imphal: Stray incidents of violence were Monday reported from various parts of Manipur where voting was underway in the first phase of Assembly elections, but the overall poll situation was largely peaceful with 78.03 per cent voters turnout recorded till 5 pm. 

A few  incidents of EVM damages and preventive firing in air by security personnel were reported in some polling stations of 51-Saitu, 57-Henglep and 60-Singhat Assembly constituencies, an EC official said.

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The incidents of damage of EVMs by unknown miscreants have been reported in seven polling stations at 46/54 – Leplen under 46-Sikul AC, 51//46-New Keithelmanbi under 51-Saitu AC, 56/10-Maite and 56/19-Tinsuong under 56-Thanlon AC, 57/49-Leinom under 56-Henglep AC, 60/10 MT Geltam and 60/43-Maukot under 60-Singhat AC. FIRs have been registered in all these cases, he added. 

Polling for MT Geltam and Leplen commenced with new sets of machines. 

The polling percentage as per reports available till 5 pm are: Imphal West – 82.19 per cent, Imphal East – 76.64 per cent, Bishnupur – 73.44 per cent, Churachandpur – 74.45 per cent, and Kangpokpi – 82.19 per cent. The final polling percentage will be available after the return of the polling parties, officials said. 

 Elections, which began at 7 am, are being held in 38 Assembly seats in five districts amid tight security and strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

Long queues were seen outside most of the polling booths with security personnel asking everyone to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.

One police personnel, Havildar Naorem Ibochouba Singh from Kakching Labungo Pareng, was killed in a ‘suspected case of accidental firing’ from his service rifle in Tipaimukh assembly constituency under Churachandpur district. One person was also injured in a clash between two parties in Churachandpur district

Another polling officer, Robert Thangjamang of 55/1 (Chingmun PS) died due to a BP stroke. 

Gun firing at Keirao Kendra 6/32 was reported. Alleged Congress workers vandalised a BJP polling booth in Kakwa area in Langthabal constituency in Imphal West district, while a vehicle of an NPP candidate was damaged by supporters of a rival group in Keirao seat, although nobody was injured in the incident.

As many as 173 candidates are in the fray with 12,09,439 voters expected to exercise their franchise. The key candidates whose fates would be decided today include Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who is contesting from Heingang, speaker Y Khemchand Singh from Singjamei, Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh from Uripok and state Congress chief N Lokesh Singh from Nambol.

A total of 12,09,439 voters including 5,80,607 males and 6,28,657 females and 175 transgender voteres were expected to exercise their franchise across 1,721 polling stations,  said Rajesh Agrawal, Manipur’s chief electoral officer, earlier said.

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