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Karnataka: 23 Arrested After Villagers Manhandle Poll Officials, Damage Equipment In Vijayapura District

Villagers stopped a poll duty vehicle carrying electronic voting machines (EVMs), manhandled an officer, and damaged control and ballot units.

Polling officials check Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)s and other necessary inputs required for the general elections, ahead of the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha polls, at a distribution centre, in Indore. (Representative Photo)
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After villagers in Karnataka's Vijayapura district manhandled election officials, 23 people were arrested by the police. 

The Election Commission (EC) said villagers of Masabinala in Vijayapura district stopped a poll duty vehicle carrying electronic voting machines (EVMs), manhandled an officer, and damaged control and ballot units on Wednesday.

The villagers stopped a section officer's vehicle which was carrying reserved EVMs for the Assembly elections and damaged two control and ballot units each and three VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail), the EC said in a statement.    

"Sector officer was manhandled. 23 people arrested", the EC said, adding, top district officials rushed to the village, which comes under Basavana Bagewadi Assembly segment. 

According to Police sources, the villagers' "action" came after "rumours" that officials were "changing" the EVMs and VVPATs. 

Meanwhile, in Padmanabhanagar constituency here, some youth armed with sticks attacked their political rivals in a polling booth at Papaiah Garden. They went on a rampage in which a few women standing in queue to vote sustained injuries, the sources said.

In another incident at Sanjeevarayanakote in Ballari district, some Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers came to blows.

Karnataka is voting in single-phase elections on Wednesday. The voting began at 7 am and is scheduled to run till 6 pm. The counting of votes will take place on Saturday.

(With PTI inputs)

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