Five Die in Landmine Blast in Muzaffarpur District
Maoist extremists in Muzaffarpur district, on the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Thursday, triggered a number of landmine blasts resulting in the death of four security jawans who were returning to their base at the end of an otherwise event-free poll day.
An innocent bystander also died in the explosion.
The incident occurred under Deoria police station at around 7:20 pm when the victims were returning to their base in a police Jeep. As it approached Karpoori Chowk, the vehicle ran over some hidden landmines causing a huge explosion that killed two Home Guard jawans, a sub-inspector, and a district police official along with a civilian.
The Nitish administration has ordered a combing operation in the area to nab the ultras who, he said, had an aversion to the democratic process of the nation and people's right to vote to choose their leaders.
Polling in Bihar for the second phase of the four-phased Parliamentary elections ended at 7:00 pm with the arrest of nearly 300 persons on various charges including trying to hijack booths, unlawful gathering near polling booths, voters' intimidation, and carrying weapons in the polling constituencies.
Meanwhile, re-polling was ordered at 146 booths where hired goons of various candidates captured the booth and engaged in intimidating practices.
The date for the re-poll will be announced in next few days, Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan said.
While in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, the voters' turnout was reported to be 46 percent, officials said the second phase that concluded on Thursday witnessed a turnout of 44 percent.
Prominent among those whose fate was on line on Thursday included the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan, Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed, noted film-maker Prakash Jha (LJP), Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Raghunath Jha, M.A.A. Fatmi, former test cricketer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Kirti Azad, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, among many others.
Von: Patna Daily, 23.04.2009