The Nelamanagala Rural police arrested a 44-year-old man who smashed an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a polling booth in Mandigere Government School on Thursday.

The accused, Uday Kumar, a resident of Nelamanagala, went inside the booth as a voter, lifted the machine and banged it on the floor. The police said although the machine was destroyed, the control unit, which maintains the vote count, was not affected as it was not kept near the EVM.

“As many as 132 votes were cast until the machine was destroyed. It was replaced and the vote count went up to 275. The polling process was not affected although it caused some inconvenience,” a police official said.

The police said Uday Kumar might have been under the influence of alcohol at the time but they are yet to ascertain it.

In another incident, four women activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), including its Bangalore North district committee member T. Leelavathy, were assaulted allegedly by a group of Janata Dal (Secular) activists.

Quarrel

According to a complaint lodged by local leaders of the CPI(M), the women were sitting near polling booths in Madanayakanahalli when the JD(S) activists picked a quarrel with them.

The CPI (M) activists said the incident happened between 9.30 a.m. and 10 a.m., when they were standing outside the polling station. The women were distributing pamphlets when the JD (S) workers allegedly assaulted them and damaged their vehicles.

The women were given first aid at a hospital. The Madanayakanahalli police have booked cases under assault and criminal intimidation of the Indian Penal Code. Meanwhile, CPI (M) activists said they had submitted a complaint to the Chief Electoral Officer.