Dull, bloodless poll in Gaya; several lives saved as cops detect dozen-plus landmines

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 10 April 2014 | 08.20

GAYA: Contrary to the expectations of heavy voter turnout on account of the much trumpeted "Modi wave" and EC driven drive for voter awareness, polling in the district ended on a dull note with average voter turnout estimated to be only marginally above the 50 per cent mark. No major incident of violence has been reported from anywhere in the district. Nearly half of the about 15 lakh voters of the Gaya parliamentary constituency did not participate in the dance of democracy.

But for the alertness of the cops and intensive demining operation in the Maoist zone, several lives would have been lost as the cops detected more than a dozen land mines with explosives in some cases as heavy as 40kg. After cordoning off the vulnerable area, CRPF personnel moving in groups on bikes with one pillion rider each bike demolished the landmines.

According to SSP Nishant Tiwari no less than 14 landmines were demolished through controlled explosion. Giving details, CRPF GIG Chiranjeev Prasad said that eight of the explosives were very heavy. According to the CRPF DIG, one bomb planted near village Bhalwar in the Banke Bazar police station area weighed 40kg. The bomb was apparently planted to blow up heavy vehicles, said the CRPF DIG.

Another bomb demolished in Singhur village of the Banke Bazar police station area weighed 30 kg, said Prasad.

Justifying the "demolition" strategy to tackle the IEDs instead of the conventional neutralization/diffusion technique, CRPF DIG Chiranjeev Kumar said that diffusion needed greater skill and was a time taking process. Enough precaution has been taken during the demolition of the IEDs.

The recent improvizations made by the Maoists in the IED have made the explosives more complicated deadly and unpredictable and for that reason these devices have been code named "Pagli Didi".

Polling at the Rahimbigha booth No. 180 of the Wazirganj assembly segment had to be suspended as villagers levelled charges of partisan behaviour against the members of the polling party. Minor group clash took place in the Belaganj police station area.

Polling was more dull in the Imamganj and Gurua assembly segments of the Aurangabad parliamentary constituency. The maximum number of IEDs was recovered in this area and the low voter turnout in Imamganj is being attributed to the threat perception and poll boycott call given by the Maoists.

136 of the 1635 polling stations of the Gaya parliamentary constituency were notified as "extremely" Naxalite-affected while another 446 polling stations fell in the Naxalite-affected category. 249 polling stations were categorized as super sensitive on account of past history of these polling stations.

Sitting MP and BJP candidate Hari Manjhi is locked in a triangular contest with his RJD rival Ramji Manjhi and JD(U) nominee Jitan Ram Manjhi.

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