Uttar Pradesh: Cops Allegedly Intimidate Ghazipur Voters By Issuing Them ‘Red Cards’ & ‘Warning Cards’
Akhilesh Yadav has alleged that such cards were issued to SP and BSP workers in the state by the UP Police.
The Uttar Pradesh Police at Jamunia in Ghazipur District have been accused of intimidating and scaring voters from casting their votes by issuing them Red Card and Warning Card.
NDTV Khabar reported that these cards were issued to citizens by the police even though Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav had complained to the Election Commission about the rampant use of such methods.
As per the report, a Red Card suggests that a recipient and his family could create problems during the election. Red Card recipients are advised to stay at home, after casting their votes.
The Warning card is used to alert a person that the police have received information that the recipient and his/her family could create trouble during voting. If a person who has received a Warning card is implicated during investigations, he/she will be charged under strict laws, the report suggests. The cards are usually signed by the respective station house officer and are sent to convicted criminals or troublemakers.
There have been allegations that the documents are being used to influence and intimidate voters. The recipients are indirectly told that they are being watched and police will investigate them. Due to fear of being wrongly implicated, many people are allegedly not stepping out to cast their votes.
It may be noted, to conduct peaceful elections, arms owned by citizens are usually seized by the police. Central forces are also present to provide security during elections. Despite such measures, the issuing of these cards points to the administration’s own failure in conducting free and fair elections.
Earlier on April 29, the Samajwadi Party had alleged that the police have issued Red Cards to a large number of its supporters, restricting them to their homes.
A Red Card issued to Indra Kumar Gupta in Gursahayganj read, “You can affect peaceful polls. After casting your votes, you should take rest in your house. Do not roam outside.”
MLC Rajpal Kashyap had alleged, “Police are openly working as BJP workers and specific details have been sent to the EC.”
On May 11, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had alleged that the BJP aims to use the ‘Red Card’ to win 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. He asserted that SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers were being issued Red Cards and they are being stopped from casting votes.
Yadav said, “Officers have been instructed to issue as much Red Cards as possible to Samajwadi Party workers in Azamgarh.” He added, “We had complained to the EC about the same last time it happened in Kannauj. Will be doing the same today also.”
Yadav questioned, “Will Red Cards be issued to SP-BSP only? Is everyone in BJP clean, is there no one with a criminal background who was issued Red Card? BJP is conspiring to scare people so that they don’t cast their votes.”
The 13 seats going to polls in the last phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh on May 19 are Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Chandauli, Deoria, Kushinagar, Ghazipur, Ballia, Ghosi, Mirzapur, Maharajganj, Basgaon, Robertsganj and Salempur.