Suspected Maoists killed a BSF jawan as the third of the five-phase polling for 11 assembly constituencies registered about 50 to 55 per cent turnout in Jharkhand on Tuesday.

Two BSF personnel were killed by Maoists during the third phase of Assembly elections in Jharkhand on Tuesday. The elections, held for 11 seats in the 81-member House, registered a turnout of 55 per cent.

The Maoists, who had given a call for poll boycott, fired at a BSF patrol near the Sarasdangal forest in Dumka district, killing head constable Dharamvir Singh and constable Dinesh Sharma of the BSF’s 137 Battalion, Inspector-General of Police V.H. Desmukh said.

The BSF patrol, on a road-opening mission for the passage of polling personnel, returned the fire, he said.

Meanwhile, election officials said the turnout in the third phase was 55 per cent.

Altogether 239 candidates, including 115 Independents and 16 women were in the fray.

Former chief minister Stephen Marandi (Congress), JMM chief Shibu Soren’s son Hemant, a Rajya Sabha member, former ministers Nalin Soren (JMM), Samresh Singh (JVM-P) and Sita Soren, widow of Shibu Soren’s eldest son Durga Soren were among the prominent contenders.

The fourth phase is scheduled for December 12 and the fifth and final round December 18.

The results will be announced on December 23.