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An estimated 62 per cent of the electorate on Wednesday exercised their franchise in the fifth and final phase of polling in Lok Sabha elections, bringing down the curtain on the month-long democratic exercise, the longest in the world.
A Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam local functionary was stabbed to death near a polling booth at Pappanampatti in Dindigul Lok Sabha constituency by a former associate, police said but maintained the incident was due to previous enmity and not poll-related.
In neighbouring Puducherry, 80 percent polling was recorded for the lone Lok Sabha seat. Yanam, an enclave of the Union Territory, polled highest with 92 percent.
Barring minor clashes at a few places the polling in the state remained "very peaceful" with no major untoward incident reported, Punjab's Chief Electoral Officer Kusumjit Sidhu told media persons after culmination of the poll exercise. The polling percentage of 66 per cent is higher as compared to 61.59 per cent polling in the 2004 Lok Sabha poll.
Two of the injured were hit by bullets at Dooru in Sopore, 55 kms from Ladakh, when a Central Reserve Police Force personnel allegedly opened fire after a group of youth, shouting anti-election slogans, pelted stones on a poll party returning from Pazalpora-Shiva area on Wednesday evening, the sources said.
Groups of youth also pelted stones on poll parties returning from duty in Baramulla's old town area, prompting the police to fire teargas shells and use batons which left five persons injured, they said.
The fate of 100 candidates, including that of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee from Kolkata South, former union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Tapan Sikdar from Dum Dum and Communist Party of India-Marxist candidate Amitava Nandy in the same seat were sealed in the Electronic Voting Machines.
Chief Electoral Officer Debasish Sen said the percentage would go up as long queues were reported in front of many polling booths towards the end of polling hours.
A CPI-M local leader was shot dead allegedly by Trinamool Congress supporters in Joynagar (SC) Lok Sabha constituency in South 24-Parganas district, while 14 persons were injured in clashes in North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas districts.
The police said Zainal Mollah was shot at Narayanpur in South 24-Parganas district and succumbed to injuries in hospital. A voter was killed and two others injured when a vehicle carrying polling personnel, ploughed through them at Kalyani in Nadia district, the CEO said.
Though there was no provision in election rules for payment of compensation, the Commission would ensure expeditious insurance compensation for the victims, he said.