Six constituencies in the Northeast – five in Assam and one in Manipur – on Thursday recorded an average 73.8% voting that was largely peaceful barring a stray incident of violence in Manipur.
The five constituencies in Assam – Autonomous District, Karimganj, Mangaldoi, Nowgong, and Silchar – together had a voter turnout of 73.32% while the Inner Manipur seat clocked 74.3% by 5 p.m.. The figure is expected to increase in both States.
Firing in the air
Central Reserve Police Force personnel fired in the air and resorted to baton charge to disperse a mob that stormed a polling station in Imphal. The violence broke out at Kyamgei Muslim Makha Leikai polling station after an EVM malfunctioned.
Men and women, angry after a long wait, stormed the polling station and destroyed an EVM and a VVPAT machine. A video of the incident showed an agitated mob armed with bamboo sticks and stones barging into the booth. A stone reportedly hit a polling official on the head.
The CRPF personnel soon took control of the situation though voting at the booth was suspended. Re-polling is likely to be ordered there.
There were no reports of violence in Assam though chaos prevailed at a polling station in Karimganj in the morning. Security personnel restored normalcy by using batons lightly to control a section of voters who were angry after an EVM malfunctioned.
In north-central Assam’s Mangaldoi, a woman identified as Bharati Kakati died after casting her vote. She collapsed at the polling station and was rushed to a hospital but died on the way.
In the third and last phase polls in Northeast on April 23, polling will be held in four constituencies of Assam – Guwahati, Barpeta, Dhubri, and Kokrajhar – and Tripura East in Tripura.