Over 20 people working on election duty reportedly dead due to heat stroke, ECI asks polling stations to keep ORS

After 14 people died of heat in Bihar, with 10 of the 14 being on election duty, the ECI, amidst criticisms of inaction and lack of concern for citizens, has directed Bihar’s polling stations to have packets of ORS ready. In the midst of this, BJP’s Ravi Kishan says that PM Modi is meditating so that temperatures drop.
Image Courtesy: newindianexpress.com

As extreme temperatures continue to wreak havoc across several states in India, Bihar has witnessed a tragic loss of life due to heatstroke. The ongoing Lok Sabha elections, held in seven phases in the state, are now marked by the deaths of more than 20 people on poll duty in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the Bihar government, a total of 14 people have died due to heatstroke in the past few days. The Disaster Management Department provided the following details about the heat related deaths which was  a total of fourteen people, including 10 polling officials, three people from Bhojpur district, one from Rohtas district, one from Kaimur district, and one polling personnel along with four other persons from Aurangabad district. Schools and coaching institutes in the state have been shut till June 9. 

The DMD has stated that it will grant the families of the bereaved some compensation. However, the rising temperatures have cast a shadow over the electoral process as the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar ends today on June 1st, the rising temperatures have made a great deal of worry. Bihar has reported high temperatures at 44 degrees celsius average, with Buxar reported about 47 degrees celsius. 

 As per reports, several security personnel who were working at polling stations in Bihar’s Sasaram also fell ill due to extreme temperatures.

ANI reported, Dr Ajeet Kumar, working at Sasaram’s Sadar Hospital saying, 

 “Due to the heatwave and excessive temperatures, the security personnel suffered heat stroke. 1-2 out of them are in a serious condition. There are roughly 6-7 people whom I have recently attended.”

A similar situation was witnessed in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur, where 7 home guards deployed for polling have died due to the heat. More than 23 other such personnel are under observation in hospitals.  Mirzapur SP Abhinandan has stated that the families will receive 15 lakhs as compensation.

Sonbhadra too saw the death of two polling officials on election duty, Rae Bareli too had a sub-inspector die due to the heat stroke while guarding EVMs, as per The New Indian Express.  

Other than Bihar and UP, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand have also reported heat related deaths. The additional chief electoral officer of Bihar Alok Ranjan Ghosh has told the media that the Election Commission has instructed district magistrates to supply ORS sachets to police and polling personnel, as per Hindustan Times. Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also instructed all district officials to see that  water tankers are deployed and that all government health centres and hospitals have the required facilities to handle the situation without any issues.

But is this enough? Journalists, activists and citizens have questioned  the ECI for scheduling the elections amidst the peak of the summer. 


Meanwhile BJP’s MP from Gorakhpur Ravi Kishan has said to the media that the heat wave will go down as Prime Minister Modi is meditating so that Surya (sun) can decrease the heat. 

As per Sabrang India sources, 3 people belonging to the Kuki tribes from Churchandpur, located in war torn Manipur are among those who have passed away in Uttar Pradesh on election duty during the heatwave. 


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