Voting for the third and final phase of the 2017 civic polls in Uttar Pradesh concluded on Wednesday with yet another round of malfunctioning EVMs and discrepancies in voter lists, leading to angry protests in several districts.The third phase, which covered 233 local bodies across 26 districts, however, registered an increase of 1.5% voting and touched 53%. The overall voting over the three phases was 52.5%, around six per cent increase from 2012.Complaints over EVM malfunctions and discrepancies in voter lists were received from several districts, including Bareilly, Bulandshahr, Auraiya, Jaunpur and Barabanki.Vijay Mishra, a resident of Bareilly, was frustrated after he found the wrong name listed on his address in the booth. “The address was correct but they listed the wrong name, some Radhelal Maurya instead of me,” said Mr. Maurya, adding that due to missing names only three out of his 30-member family were able to vote.Voters lathichargedIn Barabanki, voters faced similar issues and in ward 26 in Peer Batawan, police lathicharged people allegedly without provocation, breaking chairs and tables of polling agents, to disperse the crowd which had assembled to inquire about the lists.State Election Commissioner S.K. Agarwal said polling was conducted peacefully, even as he downplayed the incidents of malfunctioning EVMs, 27 on Wednesday, as normal. A total of 503 EVMs had to be replaced over the three phases, out of which 250 were in Lucknow itself.Mr. Agarwal said the figure of 503 was negligible compared to the total number of EVMs deployed by the SEC, 32,374.Counting will be held on December 1.
Security forces killed three militants, including Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen Srinagar district commander Muhammad Ehsan Fazili alias Eesa, in Anantnag on Sunday night.Amid violent protests, the authorities placed parts of Srinagar and south Kashmir under security restrictions. Educational institutions were closed and exams cancelled. Train services were suspended.Police said, Fazili and two others were killed during a search operation.The police identified the second slain militant as Syed Owais, an affiliate of the Hizbul Mujahideen, and a resident of Kokernag. “The identify of the third is being ascertained,” the police said adding that arms and ammunition, including AK-47 rifles, pistols, hand grenades were recovered from the encounter site.Fazili, a student of Bachelor of Technology of Baba Ghulam Shah University, had joined the militants in September last year and “was involved in a recent attack on a police guard post at Soura, in which one police constable was killed”, said the spokesman.The policeman’s killing was also claimed by the Islamic State-affiliated news magazine ‘Amaq’, fuelling speculation about local militants’ links with the group.Violent protestsViolent protests broke out as hundreds of locals participated in the funeral prayers of Fazili and Owais in Srinagar and Kokernag.The protesters raised green and black flags. A few protesters unfurled the IS flags in the procession held for Fazili. They chanted pro-azadi and pro-militant slogans. Security forces used smoke shells to control the situation.Clashes spread in large parts of Srinagar. Several vehicles were damaged by the stone-throwing protesters. Most offices and business centres also remained closed.Top separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, were placed under house arrest.
Marc Lopez and David Ferrer won their respective reverse singles rubbers as Spain completed a comprehensive 5-0 win over India in their Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium here on Sunday.Lopez defeated Davis Cup debutant Sumit Nagal 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, while Ferrer got the better of 21-year-old Chennai lad Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-2, 6-2.Spain, who had taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match tie earlier by winning the opening day’s two singles and the doubles rubber on Saturday, have returned to the World Group after a gap of two years.Egged on by the noisy and energetic home crowd which broke into intermittent bouts of energetic bhangra to the beats of the dhol, both Indian players produced spirited performances although their lack of experience cost them in the end. Nagal produced a spirited performance on his Davis Cup debut against the much higher ranked Lopez in a contest which lasted for over two hours. (Also read: Davis Cup: India’s Sumit Nagal goes down against Marc Lopez after brave fight)Despite losing the opening set, he staged a strong comeback to win the second and draw level. The 19-year-old from Jhajjar district of Haryana wrested the upper hand in the initial stages of the third set as well, before struggling with stomach cramps and breathing problems towards the end which saw him require a medical timeout.”He had some breathing problems. It got worse towards the end and he could barely move,” India’s non-playing captain Anand Amritraj said.advertisement”Just goes to show how much we have to improve to compete with Spain or other teams.”Nagal claimed the first point of the match, a cross court forehand that had Lopez stranded. Lopez reeled off the next couple of points before a long return by the Spaniard and a nice return by Nagal brought the game to deuce.But Lopez kept his cool as Nagal hit his return long to concede the game. Lopez did not have to wait too long to gain the upperhand as he took four consecutive points off Nagal’s first service game before claiming the break.The Indian continued to fight back, capitalising on some unforced errors by Lopez to stretch him to three consecutive break points before a miscued return enabled the visitor to hold serve. The proceedings then went with the serve – although Nagal threatened to clinch a break in the seventh game – as Lopez clinched the first set without breaking much sweat. (Also read: Did Sania just call Paes a ‘toxic’ person?)The first few games of the second set went with the serve before Nagal claimed a break thanks to a long return from Lopez to go 3-1 up.That seemed to fire up the teenager from Haryana and he held his serve before breaking Lopez’s serve yet again to take a comfortable 5-1 lead. He then held his serve at love to win the second set and level the scores.Nagal continued to put pressure on his opponent in the third and final set as well, coming up with some excellent returns to earn a service break in the very first game.The youngster then saved as many as five break points before holding serve during the rather long second game during which he needed a medical timeout due to stomach cramps.Four back to back points off Lopez’s service in the next game serve handed him his second service break of the set and a comfortable 3-0 lead.Lopez however, staged a strong fightback to break Nagal’s serve in the fourth game as the latter committed too many unforced errors. He then held his serve to cut Nagal’s lead to 3-2. (Also read: Leander Paes prefers Saketh Myneni as Davis Cup partner)Nagal was clearly suffering from fitness problems and was struggling with his returns as a result. The Spaniard fully capitalised on it to put pressure on Nagal’s serve who conceded a second consecutive service break as he hit his return into the net.Nagal continued to commit too many unforced errors, tamely conceding his next service game as well which handed Lopez a 5-3 lead.Lopez then held his serve fairly comfortably to seal the set and the match.The second reverse singles did not last long as the World No.13 Ferrer made short work of the 203rd ranked Ramanathan.Ferrer pulled ahead right at the start, breaking Ramanathan in the very second game to take a 2-0 lead.advertisementThe Indian however, broke Ferrer back in the next game as the Spaniard committed a double fault to concede the game. The Chennai youngster however, could not rejoice for long as Ferrer grabbed his second consecutive break in the very next game.The Spanish star put pressure on Ramanathan’s serve to lead the game 0/30 at one stage before the Indian Indian hit a return long to concede the game.Ferrer broke Ramanathan again in the eighth game to clinch the set with the Indian repeatedly hitting the net with his serve.The second set also saw the Indian putting up a stiff fight. (Also read: Saketh Myneni can be a Grand Slam champion in doubles, says Leander Paes)Both players managed to hold their serve in the initial stages. But it was Ferrer who finally took the advantage by breaking Ramanathan’s serve in the sixth game and holding his own serve for a 5-2 lead.Serving to stay in the contest, Ramanathan managed to save one match point at 30/40 with an ace. But Ferrer did not have to wait long for the win as the local boy hit his shot over the baseline to concede the match.