Amid sporadic incidents of violence, Manipur's two LS seats record 68 per cent voting

 - Sakshi Post

Imphal, April 19 (IANS) Amidst stray incidents of violence, including vandalisation of polling booths, firing, and clashes, around 68 per cent of 15.44 lakh voters cast their votes in two Lok Sabha seats (one partially) in ethnic violence-hit Manipur on Friday, officials said.

Police officials said that incidents of vandalisation of polling booths, damage to the EVMs by angry voters, firing between rival groups, and clashes among the rival party supporters were reported from Bishnupur, Imphal East and Imphal West districts, leaving six people injured.

Election officials said that they are collecting the details of the incidents in different parts of the state.

Given the nearly year-long ethnic violence, unprecedented security arrangements, comprising central forces, state police and Manipur Police commandos, were made in the state to foil any incidents of violence.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, accompanied by his wife, cast his vote at Srivan Higher Secondary School Polling Station while other leaders cast their votes in other polling stations early in the morning.

Biren Singh, expressing his hope for the victory of the BJP candidate in the Inner Manipur seat and the Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate in the Outer Manipur constituency, said that the election is very crucial to save and protect the indigenous population of the state as well as to protect the integrity of the state and bring peace at the earliest.

Polling started at 7 a.m. in the entire Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat and 15 of the 28 Assembly segments of the Outer Manipur (ST) parliamentary constituency and continued till 4 p.m.

Voting will be held in the remaining 13 Assembly segments of Outer Manipur (ST) seat in the second phase on April 26.

Over 15.44 lakh voters, including 8.02 lakh females, were eligible to decide the electoral fate of 10 candidates in the two Lok Sabha seats -- six in Inner Manipur and four in Outer Manipur (ST).

The main contest is between the BJP-Naga People's Front (NPF) alliance and the Congress-led INDIA bloc.

The ruling BJP had fielded Education Minister Thounaojam Basanta Kumar Singh against Congress nominee Angomcha Bimol Akoijam in the Inner Manipur seat, and extended support to ally NPF's nominee Kachui Timothy Zimik, who is contesting against Congress’ Alfred Kanngam S. Arthur in the Outer Manipur (ST) seat.

The Election Commission had set up 85 special polling stations for the ethnic violence-affected displaced voters in seven districts -- Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Thoubal, Kakching, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts. A majority of 18,091 Internally Displaced Voters, staying in the relief camps in seven districts, exercised their franchise in their respective Special Polling Stations.

Over 8,000 polling personnel were deployed to conduct elections in 2,107 polling stations.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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