Uttar Pradesh: Alleged BJP Workers Intimidate Dalit Voters, Forcibly Ink Fingers
The voters say that the men even distributed Rs 500 per person and told them to not cast their vote.
An incident of voter intimidation has been reported from Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh ahead of the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls.
Residents of a Dalit basti in Tara Jivanpur village told reporters that the former pradhan of the village distributed Rs 500 to each person in the community and told them to not cast their vote.
Further, they said that a group of three men from their village, allegedly BJP workers, forcibly applied ink on their fingers in order to keep them from voting.
Chanduali: Voters alleged thay they were given 500 rupees and ink was applied on their fingers by BJP and they were told not to go for voting. Incident reported from Tarajiwanpur Dalit Basti under Alinagar police station in Chandauli. @ECISVEEP @news18dotcom @CNNnews18 pic.twitter.com/gIeWri80WO
— Qazi Faraz Ahmad (@qazifarazahmad) May 18, 2019
“When we asked why should we not go to vote, they forcibly applied ink on our fingers and said “if anyone asks, tell them you’ve voted,” she told reporters.
Chandauli SDM Kr Harsh: Complainants are present at police station. We will take action as per the complaint they file. They are still eligible to cast votes as the elections hadn't begun then, they will have to mention in the FIR that ink was forcefully applied to them. (18.5) pic.twitter.com/PJdjxl5SKj
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 19, 2019
ANI reported the Chandauli SDM saying that the complainants had reached the police station and they will be able to cast their votes after filing an FIR stating that their fingers were forcibly inked.
Voting in Chandauli is scheduled for May 19. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a rally in the district on Thursday, May 16. Reports had said that cash was distributed, allegedly by BJP workers after the event, and a Dalit youth was beaten up for refusing to go to the rally.
During previous phases of the elections, similar cases of intimidation of Dalit voters has been reported in Uttar Pradesh. The Bahujan Samaj Party had written to the Election Commission about U.P. police allegedly using force to keep Dalits from voting during the first phase of the polls.