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Eight hurt in Chhapra repoll, 40% turnout

May 31, 2004 19:09 IST
Last Updated: May 31, 2004 19:34 IST

Barring stray incidents of clashes and shoot-outs in which eight persons were injured, the repoll in the Chhapra Lok Sabha constituency of Bihar on Monday passed off peacefully with an estimated 40 per cent voter turnout.

Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate and Union Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav locked horns with Bharatiya Janata Party nominee Rajiv Pratap Rudy, on whose complaint the Election Commission had ordered repoll in the entire constituency after its two-member team confirmed large-scale electoral fraud during the April 26 polling.    

District Magistrate-cum-Returning Officer B Pradhan told PTI four persons were injured in a clash between supporters of the rival candidates at a booth at Marhaura.

Two persons suffered gunshot injuries in an exchange of fire between supporters of RJD and BJP at Gopalpur Tola.

In Dahiyawan area, two persons were attacked and injured by RJD men, he said.

Some clashes and explosions also took place at a few booths under Sonepur and Marhaura segments but no one was injured, Pradhan said.

Police Superintendent Ajit Joy said around 75 persons were arrested for creating disturbances during the repoll.

Joy said he had ordered arrest of the Chairman of the Bihar State Cooperative Marketing Union (Biscomaun) and RJD leader Sunil Singh following complaints of intimidation of voters.

Meanwhile, the sub-divisional police officer of Marhaura Jagdish Chaudhary was barred from performing election duty midway through repolling on the directive of the Election Commission on the charge of indulging in electoral malpractice to favour a candidate.

A lack of enthusiasm was visible among the voters resulting in poor turnout.

Rudy said he was satisfied with the arrangements made by the district administration and the Commission for fair and free repoll in Chhapra.

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