A polling official was killed after a stray bullet from the rifle of a Home Guard constable hit him in Bihar’s Sheohar district and a voter died in East Champaran during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls on Sunday.
Shivendra Kumar, a resident of Sitamarhi and deputed as the second polling officer at booth number 275 of Sheohar, was killed when the rifle of the constable went off accidentally early on Sunday.
Kumar, who sustained an injury in his abdomen, was initially taken to the Sheohar district hospital and then to the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in adjoining Muzaffarpur district. He later succumbed to his injuries.
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Sheohar district magistrate (DM) Arshad Aziz said the constable, identified as Sarju Das of Katihar district, has been detained. Aziz denied it was a poll-related death.
“The Home Guard constable was setting up his rifle outside the booth at 5.30am when it accidentally went off and hit Kumar. This is not a poll-related incident. This is an accident on the part of the constable, who has been detained,” Aziz said.
“We are going to pay compensation to the next of kin of the deceased as per the norms laid down by the Election Commission,” the district magistrate added.
In another incident, Vishwanath Shah, a 65-year-old voter from Khijipura under Piprakothi police station, collapsed and died after exercising his franchise at booth number 260.
“Prima facie it appears that Shah died of a heart attack,” said Abhishek Ranjan, station house officer of Piprakothi police station under Pipra assembly constituency of Tetaria block in East Champaran district.
Locals said Shah was taken to the local hospital, where he died.
“The reason for the voter’s death is not immediately known. He died as soon as he emerged out of the booth after voting,” said additional director-general of police Kundan Krishnan.
Around 450 voters in Bharathia village of Gopalganj boycotted voting over poor condition of the road, which connects the main road to National Highway 24.
Shambhu Nath Tewary, a resident, claimed that villagers had requested the current member of Parliament Janak Ram of the BJP as well as the district magistrate to repair the road, which was paved around 30 years ago, but to no avail.
A total of 1,38,02,576 voters will decide the fate of 127 candidates, including BJP leader and Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, who is seeking re-election from Purvi Champaran and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh from Vaishali.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Raghuvansh has won the seat five times but lost to the Lok Janshakti Party in 2014.
The other six constituencies where polls are being held in Bihar on Sunday are Valmikinagar, Paschim Champaran, Sheohar, Siwan, Maharajganj and Gopalganj.
May 12, 2019 14:02 IST