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4th phase of polling concludes in Bengal amid reports of violence; 75.66 pc turnout till 5 pm (Ld)

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Kolkata, May 13 (IANS) Polling concluded in the eight Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal on Friday with a high turnout of 75.66 per cent till 5 p.m.

The polling percentage has been comparatively higher than the national average of 62.30 per cent till 5 p.m. (as per provisional figures).

Sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said the final figures will be announced on Tuesday after the final calculations, adding that polling in some booths continued even after 5 p.m. as some voters were still in the queue.

Till 5 p.m. the maximum voter turnout was reported from the Bolpur Lok Sabha constituency at 77.77 per cent, followed by Ranaghat (77.46 per cent), Burdwan East (77.36 per cent), Krishnanagar (77.29 per cent), Birbhum (75.45 per cent), Baharampur (75.36 per cent), and Burdwan-Durgapur (75.02 per cent).

The lowest polling percentage till 5 p.m. was reported from Asansol at 69.43 per cent.

The sources said that keeping in mind the reports of tension and violence coming in from different parts of the state throughout Tuesday, the security and monitoring arrangements will be scaled up for the next phase of elections on May 20.

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Meanwhile, the leader of opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, said that if the Election Commission can maintain the quality of security arrangements, the Trinamool Congress will be in tears from the next phase.

Earlier on Monday, Humayun Kabir, the Trinamool legislator from Bharatpur, one of the seven Assembly segments under the Baharampur Lok Sabha seat, alleged that Hindu voters in certain areas have united in favour of the BJP since the Trinamool candidate and former India cricketer Yusuf Pathan was a Muslim.

“In a couple of booths, we could not even field our agents. My question to them is if a Hindu candidate can get elected from a Muslim-dominated constituency year after year, why can’t a Muslim candidate get elected for a change,” Kabir said.

Meanwhile, poll-related violence continued in the state with an attack on the convoy of the BJP candidate from Bardhaman-Durgapur, Dilip Ghosh, at Kalna in East Burdwan district.

The glass window of one of the vehicles in the convoy was smashed in the attack allegedly perpetrated by the Trinamool Congress workers, which left two persons in Ghosh’s security team injured.

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At Salar in Baharampur Lok Sabha constituency, the presiding officer of a polling booth was replaced following complaints filed against him by the Congress for allowing Trinamool workers to influence the voters.

In another incident, a CAPF jawan on poll duty at a booth in Birbhum died after falling unconscious. He was shifted to the Rampurhat Medical College and Hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

The doctors suspect cardiac arrest as the cause of death.

Earlier, there was tension in front of a booth at Nanur in Birbhum district with the BJP alleging forceful eviction of its polling agent from the booth by Trinamool workers.

The BJP also alleged that armed ruling party workers were threatening the voters since Monday morning.

At Suri, a temporary camp office of the BJP was allegedly demolished by Trinamool supporters.

–IANS

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Army man attacked by group of five in Karnataka's Tumakuru

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Tumakuru, May 25 (IANS) The Karnataka Police on Friday registered a case against five individuals for attacking a soldier of the Indian Army with a beer bottle at a village under the Koratagere police station limits here.

The injured soldier, Govindaraju (30), is admitted to Koratagere government hospital.

Govindaraju, posted in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, had returned to his hometown in Rayawara village on vacation

According to the police, the incident occurred at Bhyrenahalli while Govindaraju was returning home after visiting someone in the village.

A group of five individuals stood in the road, blocking Govindaraju’s path. When he asked them to allow him to pass through, the group enraged and started abusing him. Later, one of them smashed Govindaraju’s head with a beer bottle. Others in the group also attacked him.

The accused individuals have been identified as Bharath, Puneeth, Gourishankar, Shiva, and Dileep.

Following the soldier’s complaint, the Koratagere police have filed a case against the accused individuals and launched a hunt to apprehend them.

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The Koratagere Assembly constituency is represented by Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara.

–IANS

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Delhi cops pose as NGO workers in Assam to nab man absconding for 16 years

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New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) A man, who had been on the run for 16 years for allegedly attacking his wife with a knife, was arrested from a forest area in southern Assam. The arrest was made by a team of the Delhi Police Crime Branch, which posed as NGO volunteers to prevent any potential complications, an official said.

The accused, identified as Noor Mohammad, was wanted in an attempt to murder case.

Noor Mohammad, who was separated from his wife, had attacked her face and head with a sharp-edged “dao” during an altercation, resulting in serious injuries. Sensing the gravity of the situation, he fled, leaving her in a critical condition.

“The police team had been gathering information about Noor Mohammad, who was wanted in an attempted murder case by the Najafgarh police since 2008. They discovered he was in Assam and reached Mankachar, South Salmara, near the Bangladesh border,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Amit Goel.

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Due to the remote and forested area, there was a high risk of the team’s cover being blown. “To mitigate this, the team posed as members of an NGO assisting woodcutters and conducted a detailed survey of the area for three consecutive days. Their relentless efforts paid off, and they successfully identified and apprehended Noor Mohammad,” said the DCP.

Noor Mohammad told police that he came to Delhi in 1997 in search of livelihood. He started working with a scrap dealer in the Bhogal area of Delhi and married Muniza in 2000.

However, after a few years of marriage, they separated due to matrimonial disputes. After allegedly committing the crime, Noor Mohammad escaped from Delhi and relocated to Assam, choosing a different location from his native place to hide.

“He had been working as a woodcutter in a nearby forest area and was living there with his second wife and children,” the DCP said.

–IANS

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LS polls: Over 25L voters to decide fate of 23 candidates in Gurgaon constituency

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Gurugram, May 24 (IANS) The sixth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections will see voters in all 10 Parliamentary constituencies in Haryana exercising their franchise on Saturday (May 25). In the Gurgaon LS seat, a total of 25,33,958 voters will decide the fate of 23 candidates who are in the fray.

Campaigning ended on Thursday at 6 p.m. after which the Gurugram district administration imposed Section 144 which restricts the gathering of five or more persons.

Candidates from five major parties including five-time sitting MP Rao Inderjit Singh of the BJP, Raj Babbar from Congress, singer-rapper Rahul Yadav — popularly known as Fazilpuria — of Jannayak Janta Party, Vijay Kumar from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Sohrab Khan from the Indian National Lok Dal are contesting from Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat.

In nine Assembly segments of the Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency, over 2,000 polling booths have been set up.

Of the total number of voters, 13,51,239 are male while 12,2,641 are female. The number of third-gender voters in the Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency is 78.

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Voting time on May 25 has been fixed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Arrangements have also been made to ensure that people above 85 years of age and people with disabilities can cast their vote from home.

Rao Inderjit Singh represented the Gurgaon LS constituency three times in a row — in 2009, 2014 and in 2019.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, he won the seat with a margin of 3,86,256 votes.

Rao Inderjit Singh got 8,81,546 votes. He defeated Congress candidate Captain Ajay Singh who got 4,95,290 votes. BSP candidate Chaudhary Rais Ahmad stood third with 26,756 votes in the constituency.

Meanwhile, over 10,000 security personnel, including those from the paramilitary forces, will be deployed during the polling.

–IANS

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Rajasthan govt orders audit of deaths 'caused by heatwaves'

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Jaipur, May 25 (IANS) The Rajasthan government on Friday ordered an audit of deaths “caused by heatwaves” in the state and constituted a committee for it.

Additional Chief Secretary of the Health Department Shubhra Singh instructed officials during a meeting that heat stroke as the cause of death should only be reported after an investigation by the audit committee.

“Deaths being reported in medical institutions should be investigated by the audit committee as per protocol. Only after the investigation, deaths due to heat stroke should be reported on the IHIP portal,” she said.

Singh also refuted reports which claimed a woman and her son died due to heat stroke in Pali.

She said that the family of Samandar Singh, who allegedly died due to heat stroke, denied postmortem following his death. He had no symptoms of heat stroke.

“Similarly, Samandar Singh’s 80-year-old mother Raju Kanwar was a heart patient. She was admitted to the government hospital in Sadri on May 23 after difficulty in breathing and chest pain and died during treatment on May 24. The medical team said that the cause of death was heart failure. Her death was also not found to be due to heat stroke,” Singh added.

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She directed officials of the Health Department to work with sensitivity and ensure the availability of coolers, fans, ACs and water facilities in hospitals.

All arrangements should be made in three days else strict action will be taken against concerned officials, she said.

–IANS

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Two men die cleaning septic tank in Delhi

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Two men died while cleaning a septic tank in Delhi’s Old Jasola village on Friday, the police said.

According to the police, a PCR call was received at the Sarita Vihar police station on Friday afternoon informing that two men fell in a ‘gutter’ (sewerage) at Old Jasola Village following which a police team was rushed to the spot.

Upon reaching the spot, the police found that two persons had been hired to clean a septic tank by a man named Iqbal Singh, a resident of the same locality.

“As they entered the septic tank to rectify a glitch, they fell unconscious,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East), Rajesh Deo.

A fire tender team was called to the spot which pulled the two persons out of the tank and sent them to the hospital, where they were declared dead.

“One of the deceased has been identified as Rajprakash Singh (60), a resident of Molarband Extension. The identity of the second person is being verified,” the DCP said.

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–IANS

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