About 3,500 villagers boycott polls in Bhilwara
Residents of Laduwas panchayat boycotted the elections on Friday to protest the delay in the recovery of an ancient idol stolen from a temple last Decemberjaipur Updated: Jan 17, 2015 16:24 IST
Residents of Laduwas panchayat boycotted the elections on Friday to protest the delay in the recovery of an ancient idol stolen from a temple last December.
None of the 3,459 voters of the village, about 30 km from Bhilwara under the Mandal Vidhan Sabha assembly, exercised their franchise.
The village market also remained shut despite no bandh call. The villagers had put up banners to remind the locals about boycotting the election.
The elderly sat inside the same temple from where the Mahadeo idol was stolen on December 18 while youngsters played games outside the polling station.
The villagers, who had already made up their mind to boycott polls, were upset with the police for failing to take any action in the idol theft case.
Sarpanch Shankar Lal Dhobi said the entire panchayat had decided to boycott the polls against the theft.
Returning Officer Shankar Lal Jat said, “We had established four polling stations, from no. 133 to 136, with 27 government employees and security personnel, who had tried to convince the villagers to vote but to no avail.”
According to the local police, the 574-year-old Shiva idol was stolen from Chaumukha Mahadeo Temple on the night of December 18. Till date, the police have not been able to trace the suspects.
Earlier this year, over 500 villagers protested outside the Bhilwara collectorate to press their demand for reinstating the idol.
“District superintendent of police Hemant Sharma assured the villagers of finding the idol, but they didn’t take any action,” advocate Murli Dhar Joshi said.