A policeman was on Wednesday killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Giridh district of Jharkhand where nine per cent turnout was recorded in the initial hours of voting in the second phase of polls for 14 Assembly seats.

Maoists triggered the landmine at Teliabahiar in Jharkhand’s Giridih district when policemen were on a foot patrol, Deputy Commissioner, Vandana Dadil, said.

The polling process in three assembly segments in Giridih district, however, was unaffected by the blast.

In a separate incident in Giridih, the Maoists blew up a culvert at Matiobera.

Long queues were witnessed in Khunti district while women outnumbered the men at Hutar, Kalamati and Dungra.

“We are voting for development, particularly electricity, drinking water and irrigation,” one of the voters said.

Altogether 30,96,854 people are eligible to vote in Kodarma, Barhi, Mandu, Ramgarh, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri, Gomia, Tamar, Silli, Khijri, Mandar, Khunti and Pakur. Except Pakur, all other seats have Maoist presence.

Former ministers Bandhu Tirkey (Independent, Mandar), Chandraprakash Choudhary (Ajsu Party, Ramgarh) and Sudesh Mahato (Ajsu Party, Silli) are prominent among the 259 candidates whose electoral fate would be decided in this phase.

The five-stage polling in Jharkhand will conclude on December 18.

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