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Violence mars 1st phase of civic election

THE FIRST phase of the urban local bodies poll was marred by violence. One person was shot dead in Muzaffarnagar and around one dozen persons were injured in clashes in other districts.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2006 10:55 IST

THE FIRST phase of the urban local bodies poll was marred by violence. One person was shot dead in Muzaffarnagar and around one dozen persons were injured in clashes in other districts.

The State Election Commission (SEC) this evening said 66 per cent votes were polled. Voting for election of 167 chairmen of nagar palika parishad and 4,425 ward members started at 8 am in 51 districts today.

The state government had deployed 103 companies of PAC, 85,000 home guards and district police to ensure peaceful and fair poll. Another 12 companies of RAF and 5 companies of SSB were provided by the Central government. As the day passed, polling picked up and candidates, along with their supporters, took to the street to ensure good voting in their favour. This led to violent clashes at several places.

SEC informed that 49 complaints of bogus voting, 35 complaints of booth capturing and 27 complaints of model code of conduct violation were received by it.

In Muzaffarnagar, one person was shot dead when rival groups clashed.

According to reports reaching the SEC, Muzaffar Rana, a supporter of the Samajwadi Party candidate, was shot at in a clash. Rana was rushed to the district hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

In Aliganj area of Etah district, the CO and half-a-dozen persons were injured when two groups clashed. According to reports, the clash started when police personnel, deputed at a polling booth, ordered voters to make a queue for casting their vote.

Meanwhile, some anti-social elements entered a polling booth in Hardoi and looted ballot papers. In Sitapur, miscreants forced their way into two booths and tore ballot papers.

Tension prevailed in Colonelganj town of Gonda district when two groups opened fire near a polling booth. Chaos prevailed at another booth when miscreants threw crude bombs to scare away voters. In Sahjahanpur, too, supporters of two groups clashed. Clashes also took place in Gonda, Etawah, Badaun, Bijnore, Meerut, Mainpuri, Pratapgarh and Moradabad districts.

Additional Election Commissioner Vinay Priya Dubey said the SEC has directed district magistrates and observers to submit their reports on violence to it.

It ordered re-poll in ward number 17 of Utraula locality in Balrampur district.

Dubey said ballot papers of another ward were dispatched there. Poll for Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam would be held on November 3 instead of October 31.
Meanwhile, State Election Commissioner Aparmita Prasad Singh ordered for re-poll at 25 polling booths in various districts.