Patna: Despite boycott call by Maoists, voters queued up for the Bihar Panchayat polls which started on a peaceful note, apart from stray incidents, amid tight security.

Voting is being held at 12905 booths spread over 37 districts for 28639 posts of village chief, sarpanchs, gram panchayat members, gram kutchery panch, panchayat samiti members and district board members.

There are 1.43 lakh candidates in the fray.

Director General of Police Neelmani said that polling was peaceful across the state.

However, angered over security men beating a child at a polling station, local people attacked the official vehicle of Block Development Officer S N Jha at Birakh panchayat under Sursand police station in Sitamarhi district, official sources said.

While Jha escaped unhurt, two policemen were injured in the attack, the sources said.

In Nawada, anti-socials who tried to disturb polling clashed with policemen at Khandsari under Kauakaul block, they said.

A presiding officer was removed following protests by locals that he was favouring a particular candidate at Masaurhi in Patna district.
Reports of intimidation of voters were received from Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Patna and Nawada districts.

A candidate for the post of village head Raj Kumar Singh was killed and three others injured when a crude bomb went off at Marpa village under Supi block in Sitamarhi district late last night, the sources said.

Altogether 85 persons, including a presiding officer and three candidates for district councilors were arrested under preventive measures, the DGP said.

A total of 25 vehicles and Rs 11,300 in cash were seized at different places, he said.

Neelmani said security forces, including the central paramilitary, have been deployed at polling stations to ensure free and fair polls.

Nearly 2.75 lakh troublemakers and habitual offenders have signed bonds promising not to disrupt the polling process, Neelmani said.

The 10-phased polls would end on May 28.