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Bihar: 12 killed in poll violence
May 15, 2006 11:38 IST
Last Updated: May 15, 2006 20:46 IST
Six months after by and large peaceful Bihar assembly elections, 12 persons were killed in violence during the first phase of panchayat election in 62 blocks in 38 districts of the state on Monday.
Five deaths were reported from Nawada, three from Saran, one each from Gaya, Saharsa, Vaishali and Samastipur districts in poll-related clashes between supporters of rival candidates.
State Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah, however, confirmed only 10 deaths. But, he said, reports from many districts were still awaited.
Amanullah told reporters that 45 incidents of violence were reported from different areas and at seven places the police had to open fire to chase away anti-social elements.
The home secretary said 89 people were arrested during polling across the state.
Amanullah said Monday's violence was not a cause for worry to them while achieving democracy at the lowest level as the total number of deaths on the first day of polling during panchayat poll last time in 2001 was 24.
"We are not comparing the figures of last time... But with so much of social tension at village level and limited number of security forces available at our disposal, we tried our best to minimise violence during the poll today," he said.
The home secretary said around 55-60 per cent of polling was recorded on Monday.
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