J&K voters pulled out of homes

Published on May 06, 2004 02:38 AM IST

Unlike the first two phases of elections in Baramulla and Srinagar, where there were few reports of coercion, south Kashmir on Wednesday witnessed many such cases.

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HT Image
PTI | ByMajid Jahangir, Shopian

Unlike the first two phases of elections in Baramulla and Srinagar, where there were few reports of coercion, south Kashmir on Wednesday witnessed many such cases.

There were instances of coercion by the security forces in many interior pockets of Pulwama district and a few places in Anantnag.

In the Batpora pocket of Shopian, dozens of Rastriya Rifles jawans were seen intimidating villagers who had planned to boycott the polls. Residents alleged that troops from the local army camp appeared in Peer Mohalla and Aleyar Pur and coerced villagers to go to the polling booth and vote.

"They barged inside the mohalla and asked everybody to come out. We tried to resist, but they didn't listen. They even beat some youth," complained an angry resident near a polling booth in Shopian town. "I will not vote, come what may."

The army here herded a group of citizens and took them to the nearest polling station. In the deserted Shopian township, some jawans were seen asking residents to "come out" to vote, even as many media teams moved about in the area.

At 1 p.m. in Pinjura village of Pulwama district, villagers were seen fleeing in different directions to escape the alleged rage of security personnel. "In the morning, troops surrounded the village and asked us to vote," said a youngster.

In Imamsahib, Pulwama, a group of elders slammed the Mufti government.

"It seems Mufti has ordered the troops to coerce the general masses by force," said a schoolteacher. "I was sitting in my house, when army people knocked on the door and ordered us to go to the polling station and cast our vote."

Similar complaints of coercion by the security forces poured from Achan, Maligund, Heff Shermal, Litter, Laribal Gadibagh, Mandina, Tengpoora, Kakpor, Nagbal, Imamsahib and many other villages.

At Laribal Gandibagh, the security forces allegedly beat a retired education officer for not casting his vote.

Poll pick


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Five villages in Sagar and Rewa constituencies of Madhya Pradesh boycotted polling to protest the lack of development and water scarcity.

Rigging in Rajasthan

In Jirot Kalai in Dausa, many voters were allegedly turned back as their votes had already been cast. The undeclared diktat was: only Gurjars can vote. The ‘outcastes’ included all others — Brahmins, SCs and OBCs.

Maya skips vote

BSP chief Mayawati did not cast her vote in Lucknow, preferring to fly out to Bareilly for campaigning. 

Name missing

The grand daughter of Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat found her name missing from the voters’ list in Jaipur.

Oldest voter

A 104-year-old woman exercised her franchise at a polling booth in Kanpur. She was brought to the polling booth in a cycle-rickshaw by her grandsons.

 

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