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60% turnout in K'taka

An estimated 60% of the 2.26 crore voters in Karnataka on April 20, 2004 cast their votes in the first phase of elections.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Bangalore
PUBLISHED ON APR 20, 2004 08:23 PM IST

An estimated 60 per cent of the 2.26 crore voters in Karnataka today cast their votes in the first phase of polls for 15 Lok Sabha and 120 assembly constituencies with the polling marked by stray violence.

Polling by and large passed off on a peaceful note, police and official sources said.

Tension mounted at Maski village in Raichur district in northern Karnataka after a Congress activist suffered stab wounds after he was attacked by a miscreant, prompting police to step up security.

In Rahamatnagar area in Kolar, the "missing voters list" sparked off trouble, with a group protesting it barging into two polling stations and destroying the EVMs, forcing the polling authorities to call off voting.

To bring the situation into order, police lobbed teargas shells and ordered a lathicharge to disperse the mob.

An unspecified number of persons received injuries and window panes of at least nine private buses were damaged in Kanakapura when a mob, believed to be JDS supporters, resorted to stone pelting voicing their ire that Congress was ferrying outsiders into the constituency for "bogus voting". Former Prime Minister H D Devegowda is contesting from Kanakapura.

Police resorted to caning to disperse the mob and brought the situation under control.

Reports of delay in commencement of polling following technical snags in EVMs have come from several polling stations.

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