2 firing incidents reported in Ater

2 firing incidents reported in Ater

2 firing incidents reported in Ater

Firing incidents were reported from at least two places after Congress and BJP workers clashed during the bypoll in Madhya Pradesh’s Ater Assembly seat on Sunday.

The state electoral office dismissed reports of booth capturing. Two more Special Armed Forces (SAF) companies (nearly 200 personnel) have been pressed into service at Ater.

In Ater, the final voter turnout stood at 58.90%, while in Bandhavgarh the figure was at 67.16%, an EC official said.

The firing incidents were reported from two places. The security personnel fired in the air at Sankri village booth to avoid a clash between the BJP and Congress workers.

“Another incident of firing was reported near booth number 172 (Goarkala),” State Electoral Officer of Madhya Pradesh Salina Singh told reporters at a press conference.

“The incident of firing took place one kilometre away from  booth number 172 and as of now more details of this incident are awaited,” said Singh. She denied any booth-capturing in Ater and Bandhavgarh.

“There was no booth capturing incident reported from Ater and Bandhavgarh. All the booths in Ater were declared sensitive. We spoke to the state DGP. After these incidents, we have called two additional SAF companies from Morena to strengthen the security arrangements,” she added.

When asked about allegations by the Congress that gun shots were fired at its candidate in Ater Hemant Katare at Sankri village booth, Singh said that there was a dispute between booth agents of Congress and BJP.

“The Congress candidate stayed for a long time inside the booth. This deteriorated the situation resulting in a clash between the polling agents. The police had to fire in the air to control the situation. Some vehicles were also damaged during this clash,” she added. Singh said that both the Congress and BJP candidates were provided additional security.