1 killed, 2 wounded in police firing at polling station in India's Jharkhand

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NEW DELHI, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- One person was killed and two others wounded on Saturday after police fired on agitating people at a polling station in India's eastern state of Jharkhand, officials said.

The clashes broke out at village Baghani in Gumla district, about 66 km west of Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand.

"One villager was killed and two others wounded after police opened fire to control mob pelting stones on security forces at a polling booth No. 36 at Baghani in Sisai here," a local government official in Gumla said. "The wounded have been removed to hospital."

The second phase of local elections is underway in 20 constituencies of the state.

Following the firing, voting halted in the polling station.

Police officials said the clashes broke out after supporters of two different political parties entered into a brawl at the polling station. However, they subsequently clashed with police deployed there, after it tried to chase them away.

"Villagers hurled stones on the policemen deployed there, following which they fired in self-defence," a police official said. "Several policemen were injured in the stone-pelting."

Authorities have rushed additional reinforcements to the area to contain the situation.

As per India's election commission, voting in Jharkhand will be completed in five phases until Dec. 20.

Counting of votes is expected on Dec. 23.

The ruling BJP, which is seeking a second term under the leadership of Raghubar Das, is facing a tough challenge from the opposition alliance of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Congress party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Enditem

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