GUWAHATI: One person, believed to be a BJP supporter, was killed in police firing during the second and final phase elections in Manipur on Saturday while another BJP worker died in firing by an alleged Congress worker on Friday night.
An estimated 76.62% of the voters had turned up to exercise franchise.
The incident of police firing occurred at Karong in the hill district of Senapati. The second firing incident was reported from Thoubal district in the Imphal Valley.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajesh Agrawal said the polling in the entire Imphal valley was peaceful but 12 incidents of damage to EVMs by the miscreants were reported from the hill districts. He said FIRs were registered in connection with all the incidents.
Without sharing the details of the Karong incident, the CEO said: “The incident, unfortunately, got escalated leading to serious injuries to two persons, who were immediately evacuated by chopper to Imphal for treatment. However, one of them sadly succumbed on the way.”
He said the other person was undergoing treatment at the RIMS Hospital in Imphal.
In a complaint lodged with the Returning Officer, one Ngaoni R James, who is an election agent of the local BJP candidate, said “Indian security forces” deployed for election duty had fired at the two persons, K Longvao and V Saope, without giving any proper reason, instruction or warning.
“Due to gunshot, K Longvao lost his life. V Saope was severely injured and battling for his life,” the complainant wrote. “Therefore, you are requested to take immediate action or else the situation could escalate,” he further wrote to the RO.
In the Thoubal incident, an alleged Congress worker had fired at a group of BJP workers, leaving some injured. Later, one succumbed to injuries at a hospital.
The Election Commission received some complaints from some political parties and candidates during polling and the CEO said re-poll, if any, would be decided accordingly.
The polling on Saturday was held in 22 constituencies in the six districts of Thoubal, Jiribam, Chandel, Ukhrul, Senapati, and Tamenglong. Re-polling was held in 12 polling stations falling under five constituencies in three districts. Damage to EVMs during the first phase poll on February 28 necessitated re-polling. Thirty-eight constituencies had gone to first phase polls.
In 2017, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party by winning 28 of the 60 seats. However, the BJP, which had won 21 seats, managed to form the government by cobbling up the numbers.
The polls this year are likely to throw up a fractured mandate again but the BJP is expected to emerge as the single largest party.