Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Police open fire in West Champaran after MP claims mob attack
The police opened fire to disperse a mob in Bihar’s West Champaran district, after it allegedly attacked Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament Sanjay Jaiswal, while a polling official was killed by a stray bullet from the rifle of a home guard constable in Sheohar during the sixth phase of polls.
Barring this, polling in Bihar’s eight parliamentary constituencies was by and large peaceful, recording 59.38% turnout, during the sixth national phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Sunday. The vote percentage recorded on Sunday was 2.13% more than 2014 LS polls, said HR Srinivasa, Bihar’s chief electoral officer.The remaining eight of the state’s 40 seats will go to polls on May 19, the last phase of the ongoing general elections.
Jaiswal claimed that he was attacked by a mob after he trying to ensure free and fair voting at Bind Toli in West Champaran. He alleged that the mob, wielding sticks and lathis surrounded him. Superintendent of Police Upendra Kumar Sharma, however, said that he received conflicting statements about the incident and was trying to verify what happened. “Polling was going on peacefully at the two booths. We are trying to ascertain what transpired between the polling officials and the MP (and how) the mob became aggressive,” said Sharma.
Earlier in the day, Shivendra Kumar, deputed as the second polling officer at booth number 275 of Sheohar, was killed when the rifle of the constable went off accidentally early, Bihar chief electoral officer HR Srinivasa said. Sheohar district magistrate Arshad Aziz said the constable, identified as Sarju Das of Katihar district, has been detained.
In another incident, Vishwanath Shah, a 65-year-old voter from Khijipura, East Champaran district, collapsed and died after voting. “Prima facie it appears that Shah died of a heart attack,” said Abhishek Ranjan, station house officer of Piprakothi police station.
Around 450 voters in Bharathia village of Gopalganj boycotted voting over poor condition of the road, which connects to National Highway 24.
Among the 127 candidates in the fray were Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.