Lok Sabha Elections 2019: NGO sets up control room to ensure Dalits vote freely in Rajasthan
PL Mimroth, CEO of NGO Centre for Dalit Rights, said the control room has been established in Jaipur to enable Dalits, women, poor and marginalised sections to cast their votes freely without any fear.Updated: Apr 11, 2019 16:51 IST
The Centre for Dalit Rights (CDR), a non-governmental organisation, has set up a 24x7 control room where complaints against intimidation and violence during elections can be lodged.
CDR chief executive officer (CEO) PL Mimroth said the control room has been established in Jaipur to enable Dalits, women, poor and marginalised sections to cast their votes freely without any fear.
He said complaints received at the control room, which was set up on April 1 and will function till May 23, will be forwarded to the authorities for action.
Mimroth said the centre has been set up keeping in mind the experience of the last general elections.
“Dalits complained that they were not allowed to vote or that they could not cast votes freely. In elections, Dalits and poor are either prevented from casting votes or there are attempts to pressure them to cast votes in favour of a particular caste or candidate or party,” he said.
“This time too we have been getting complaints from different districts by Dalits and women who are apprehensive about violence or intimidation during the elections, so we have set up the control room that will forward complaints to the authorities for action.”
Satish Kumar of the CDR said such control rooms were set up during panchayat, assembly and general elections as usually Dalits and marginalised are either prevented from voting or face threat of violence. “During the last general elections, the control room received around 80 complaints,” he said.
Mimroth said if voters had any complaints of this nature, they should get in touch with the control room either by phone or through fax. On the basis of the complaint, the CDR staff will get in touch with the election officials or police and try to resolve the issues immediately.
To make Dalit voters aware about their voting rights, CDR has distributed printed handbills, telling voters about their rights and providing information about the control room.
CDR has written to the election department and the police about sensitive areas and booths and requested for deployment of additional police force.
CDR has written to police officials to take steps to arrest antisocial element, absconders and wanted criminals and seize unlicensed weapons and ask licensed weapon holder to deposit their weapons with the police so that elections can be held in an atmosphere free from fear, said Mimroth.
First Published: Apr 11, 2019 16:51 IST