2 killed, few hurt in Manipur polls, over 68% voting till 2 pm (3rd Ld)

At least two people were killed and few others injured in Manipur as over 68 per cent polling was recorded till 2 p.m on Saturday in the second and final round of the Assembly elections underway in 22 of the 60 constituencies amid heavy security, officials said.

The Police said that one person was killed and another injured in police firing at Karong in Senapati district while a BJP activist succumbed to his injuries in Thoubal district.

A police official said that police had to open fire at Karong when some people tried to snatch an EVM from a polling station, thrashing the polling personnel.

In another incident in Thoubal district, some BJP workers went gone to the residence of a Congress worker late on Friday night and after an altercation, the Congress worker reportedly fired at the BJP activists injuring few of them who were shifted to the hospital, where one person succumbed to his injuries on Saturday.

Election and police officials said that activists of political parties clashed in Mao, Moreh and other places, halting the polling briefly.

Political parties are accusing each other of disturbing free and fair election processes in many places. However, details of these incidents are awaited.

Men, women and first time voters in large numbers queued up in front of the polling stations well before the voting started at 7 a.m. in six electoral districts.

According to election officials, over 68 per cent voters have voted till 2 p.m. in the 22 assembly constituencies where polling will continue till 4 p.m. without any break. According to officials, more than 20,000 Central paramilitary force troopers have been deployed in the second phase in the six electoral districts — Thoubal, Jiribam, Chandel, Ukhrul, Senapati and Tamenglong.

While the Thoubal district falls in the valley area, the other five electoral districts are in the mountainous areas bordering Assam and Nagaland, as well as Myanmar, making security forces maintain maximum vigil along both the international and the inter-state borders. Manipur Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Agrawal said that 4,988 personnel have been posted in 1,247 polling stations in the six electoral districts to conduct the exercise.He said that in all, 8,38,730 voters, including 4,28,679 females and 31 transgenders, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the second phase to decide the electoral fate of 92 candidates, including two females.

Of the 92 candidates, 17 have criminal antecedents, the election official said.

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