A CRPF constable opened fire in self defence on Wednesday after an unruly mob stormed a polling station at Ramireddypalem village in Rompicharla mandal of Narsaraopet Assembly constituency. Polling in some villages in the sensitive segment of Narsaraopet was marked by sporadic incidents of violence.
The CRPF constable Subesh Chandra Yadav told The Hindu a group of 30-40 men armed with sticks stormed the booth located in a school premises and dragged the polling agent of TDP, G. Koteswara Reddy, out. The panic stricken poll personnel ran outside.
“There was complete mayhem as the men dragged away the agent. I fired a single round in air to disperse the crowds,’’ said Mr. Yadav. Later, police chased away the protestors.
The incident took place at about 9 a.m. Senior police officials including, Superintendent of Police, Guntur Rural, J. Satyanarayana rushed to the village and monitored the situation. Both the rival groups, TDP and YSRCP blamed each other.
Polling resumed after a break of two hours.
Clashes between TDP and YSRC marred polling at Subbayapalem village in Rompicharla mandal. Reports from police said that a group of men began confronting the polling agents.
``We are unable to resume polling as there are no sufficient men to man the polling station. Polling got off a sedate start with just 245 votes being polled out of 684 votes,’’ said the presiding officer.
Candidate for YSRC for Narsaraopet, Gopireddy Srinivasa Reddy rushed to the polling station. “I am protesting against the inability of the administration to provide sufficient security for polling personnel,’’ said Dr. Sreenivasa Reddy.
Minor clashes were reported at Pedagraharam village in Piduguralla mandal and Rudravaram village in Atchampet mandal. Police chased away irate mobs.
District Collector S. Suresh Kumar said that the district recorded a poll percentage of 54.4 per cent by 1 p.m. In Guntur town, poll per cent recorded was 52 per cent by 1 p.m. and it is expected to go up towards evening.