Honeybees emerged as better saboteurs than battle-hardened Maoists when it came to scaring away voters in a remote Jharkhand village on Thursday.
A security personnel looks at a tree full of bee hives in Lohardaga’s Chiri, where honeybees stung voters and officials and delayed the polling for 45 minutes on Thursday. (Diwakar Prasad/HT photo)
Two explosions triggered close to a polling station in Bishunpur area of Lohardaga Lok Sabha constituency by Maoists on Thursday failed to keep the voters home.
About 8:15am, however, a flock of honeybees descended from the nearby forest and attacked voters and officials in two polling stations numbered 76 and 77.
The polling was stalled for about 45 minutes, said Lohardaga deputy commissioner Paramjit Kaur.
Because of the bee attack, only 21 voters could cast their votes at booth No 76 in the first two hours, said Janardan Sahu, a villager.
Seven people stung by the bees were taken to Kudu health centre for primary medical aid. But presiding officers Ranjan Kumar and Amarnath Sahu, who bore the brunt of the attack, were referred to Lohardaga Sadar Hospital for further treatment.
They were replaced by reserve polling officials. The polling was resumed at around 9:40am, said Kumar.