Polling begins in Jharkhand amid Maoist threat

Ranchi, April 16 (Inditop) Voting for six Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand began Thursday morning with a large number of security personnel being deployed at polling booths in view of the threat of Maoist violence.

Polling in the six constituencies – Palamau, Chatra, Koderma, Lohardagaa, Hazaribagh and Khuti – began at 7 a.m.

The fate of 85 candidates will be decided by 7,068,696 electorates. There are a total of 9,953 polling stations and 1,800 micro-observers.

Officials said around 62,000 security personnel, including 8,000 central paramilitary forces, have been deployed in the state for the first phase of the general election to ensure peaceful polling.

Police are also using five helicopters for air surveillance. Maoist rebels have called for boycott of the polls and threatened voters with dire consequences of they exercise their franchise.

The polling will end at 3 p.m.