Special Correspondent

Two arrested; polling suspended for two hours

Polling agent takes away ballot papers

Man dies of cardiac arrest after exercising his franchise

CHICKBALLAPUR: Polling officials, including two women, were locked inside a polling booth and beaten up by supporters of some candidates at Chadalupura village on the outskirts of Chickballapur during the gram panchayat elections on Saturday.

As a polling agent allegedly took away a book containing ballot papers in the melee, polling was suspended for nearly two hours at the booth at Chadalupura in Dodda Marali gram panchayat limits.

According to the police, around 11.30 a.m., an argument broke out between the polling agents of some candidates and the polling staff. After an official “inadvertently” issued two ballot papers to a voter, polling agents alleged that the officials were favouring a particular candidate.

Srinivasa and Rangachari, polling agents, allegedly closed the door and thrashed the polling staff, including two women.

One of the agents took away the ballot papers from the polling booth, the police said.

Following the incident, tension prevailed near the polling station and the police resorted to a mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. Subsequently, Deputy Commissioner Anwar Pasha and Superintendent of Police T.D. Pawar rushed to spot and brought the situation under control.

The police traced the agent and recovered the ballot papers from him.

The polling, which was suspended around 1.30 a.m., resumed at 2 p.m. The Chickballapur rural police have registered a case and arrested Srinivasa and Rangachari.

Narayanappa (65) died of cardiac arrest after exercising his franchise at a polling booth in Hosahudya village in Chickballapur taluk.

According to the police, Narayanappa and his two sons, who are voters in Hosahudya, are residing in Bangalore. While Narayanappa was able to vote, the names of his sons were missing from the voters' list.

When they started arguing with the officials over their names missing from the list, Narayanappa, who tried to calm them, collapsed at the polling booth.

He was rushed to the Government Hospital in Shidlaghatta where he was declared brought dead, the police said.