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40% polling in four Gaya constituencies

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October 21, 2005 21:06 IST

Amidst unprecedented security, polling in four naxal-infested assembly constituencies in Bihar's Gaya district Friday passed off peacefully with an estimated 40% voter turnout, official sources said.

The low voter turnout in the four hyper-sensitive constituencies was attributed to intermittent rain and Friday prayers by members of the Muslim community during Ramzan.

Gaya District Magistrate-cum-District Election Officer Sandeep Poundrik told PTI that polling was "absolutely peaceful" in Gaya (town), Gaya (mufassil), Bodh Gaya and Belaganj constituencies.

"No arrests were made as everything passed off peacefully," he said.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate for Obra seat Satyanarain Singh Yadav was, however, detained during polling hours for going around with a large number of supporters, official sources said.

Unprecedented security arrangements were made for polls in the four hyper-sensitive constituencies in Gaya with 6,000 central para-military forces deployed at 1,005 polling stations.

Four Indian Air Force helicopters patrolled the skies to ward off any threat from Naxalites who had called a boycott of polls.

Polling in the four constituencies was to be held in the first phase on October 18, when balloting was held for 57 seats, but had to be deferred to facilitate adequate deployment of security forces.

Repolling in 130 booths including Nabinagar, Aurangabad, Obra, Nawada, Goh, Jhajha, Ara, Sandesh, Bikramganj, Warsaliganj, also passed off peacefully, state election office sources said.

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