Violence at a Palwal village claimed the life of a man as 82% voting was recorded in the first phase of elections to panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) in Haryana on Sunday.
Reports said a man lost his life at Ratipur village in Palwal district as two groups clashed with each other. Officials said Bir Singh was killed as the groups pelted each other with stones. Deputy commissioner Ashok Sharma said the polling was not affected even for a minute as the incident took place far from the polling booth.
There were also reports of minor skirmishes and faulty electronic voting machines (EVMs).
The polling on Sunday was held on 414 seats of zila parishad, 1,174 of panchayat samitis, 2,488 of sarpanches and 9,948 seats of panches across 21 districts. The second and third phases of polling will be held on January 17 and 24, respectively.
People came in large numbers to exercise their franchise in the panchayat elections with Panchkula, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Fatehabad, Kaithal, Sirsa, Hisar, Jhajjar, Mahendergarh and Panipat districts registering more than 80% turnout.
There was a firing incident at Bhalauth village on the outskirts of Rohtak. However, no one was injured and the police said the polling went on peacefully. Clashes were also reported at Mohammadpur Jat village of Rewari district but the polling resumed after the police intervened. In Punhana block of Mewat district, there were reports of miscreants decamping with EVMs. Incidents of violence were also reported from Ayalki, Badopal, Dhanger and Kajalheri villages of Fatehabad district, but the police controlled the situation.
State election commissioner (SEC) Rajeev Sharma said polling would be conducted again in Punhana in Mewat district, where two EVMs were damaged. The SEC said stray incidents were reported from Palwal, Mewat, Bhiwani, Rohtak and Fatehabad districts. He said reports of a scuffle outside a polling booth in Palwal district were received but it was not poll-related. He said the situation would be assessed after getting a report from returning officers.