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Last updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2002
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Polling Concluded amongst scattered incidents in Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya, 28 April. Apart from scattered ordinary incidents polling was peaceful in the 14 wards of the Bodhgaya Town Panchayat. Polling began slowly at the appointed time however by afternoon at many polling stations over 50 percent of voters had cast their votes. In this great celebration of democracy women, senior citizens and youths could be seen standing in long lines in blistering sunshine to vote. [it was about 107 F / 42 C in Bodhgaya on the 28th:-PGF]
In ward no. 9 in the first stages of voting some anti-social elements in an effort to create dispute and trouble tore up voting papers. But after a short while a police group including Superintendent Madhusudan Bari, Police station in-charge S.K. Suman and the Assistant Election Vigilance Officer promptly took measures due to which the halt in voting was quickly ended and polling began again. But due to a lack of voting slips and the crowds of voters the Bodhgaya Returning Officer declared a re-poll.
In polling booth no. 1 of ward no. 5 some mischievous elements threw the empty polling box into a well which effected the voting for some time. Some of the women voters standing in the queue to vote accused the candidates of collusion with the police on duty at the polling station. At booth 1 (kha) there were scuffles over voting by bogus voters. It is said that in ward no. 7 the supporters and candidates of a particular candidate whilst campaigning for their candidate were involved in fighting and beating incidents with members of their own jati. In ward no. 12 a bomb was recovered from near the polling booth which the police were able to successfully defuse. Candidates at the polling centre accused one another of causing impersonators to cast votes. At voting centre 1 Mahadev Mehto (95) was seen happily casting his vote.
The greatest enthusiasm for the poll was seen amongst the women who since early morning could be seen standing in great numbers at their polling booths prepared to vote.
In ward no. 3 in the last stages of the poll an attempt at booth capturing was made. But due to the alertness of the police the attempt was unsuccessful although the booth looters threw stones and shot bullets at the police. In a response to this the police officers fired 12 rounds according to the information given by the police Superintendent. Along with this nine people were arrested for casting false votes and causing trouble in the election.

[Compare this with the polling in Gaya were four people were killed during polling according to the Dainik Jagran:-PGF]

Related Links

Dainik Jagran Gaya Stories

Large Scale Violence in Gaya: Times of India Story


Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.