Assam panchayat polls: 75 per cent exercise franchise in violence marred third phase

An estimated 75 per cent electorate exercised their franchise in the third and final phase of panchayat elections in Assam today which was marred by violence leaving 12 dead and several others, including security personnel, injured.

The polling percentage in Lower Assam's Goalpara district was 60 per cent though the final estimates were yet to come in, official sources said here.

In Goalpara, 11 people were killed in police firing on a violent mob protesting against the holding of Panchayat elections ahead of the autonomous Council polls

Voting was held in 687 booths out of the 807 polling stations in the district while violence erupted in and around the remaining centres and polls had to be postponed.

The three districts of Barak Valley Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj - also witnessed poll related violence with a BJP worker killed and registered a very high rate of nearly 80 per cent polling.

BJP worker Pakhi Mian Laskar was killed in clashes with members of rival party workers in Jhanjabarbali in Cachar district while police resorted to lathicharge and opened fire at Neelambazar in Karimganj district to dispere a violent mob that gheraoed the police station.

The polling percentage in Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj was 82, 78 and 78 per cent respectively.

The votes polled in Dhubri, parts of Nagaon and Morigaon districts were more than 70 per cent.

In the final phase of panchayat polls in the state, altogether 38,663 candidates are in the fray, out of which 931 candidates are contesting for 135 Zila Parishads, 3.915 for 744 Anchalik Panchayat constituencies, 3.928 are contesting for 744 Gaon Panchayat President constituencies and 29,889 are contesting for 7,440 Gaon Panchayat member constituencies.

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