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Voting Under Way in India; 10 Die in Election Violence

May 20, 1991|Reuters

NEW DELHI — Indians started voting today after a violence-plagued campaign in general elections that opinion polls suggest will end with no party winning a majority in the world's biggest democracy.

Voters in 209 of the 537 parliamentary seats at stake started the process. Most of the rest of the 514-million-strong electorate will vote Thursday and Sunday, enabling security forces to be switched around the country. Final voting in two areas is scheduled for June.

At least 10 people, including two independent candidates, were reported killed Sunday in election-related violence across northern India and in New Delhi.

Police imposed curfews in the industrial city of Kanpur, 240 miles east of New Delhi, and parts of the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, also in the north.

Authorities have deployed 1.5 million police and paramilitary troops to prevent violence during the elections.

The Press Trust of India said three people died in New Delhi late Sunday, killed by Punjab militants campaigning for a homeland.

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