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Booth captured: 550 voters turned away

Silchar, Feb 14: Aggrieved voters of the three villagers of Rajargram, Patharigaon and Kharilpar under Borkhola block today staged demonstration before the office of the Returning Officer and the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar for being prevented from exercising their franchise on the day of panchayat elections on Tuesday by a menacing group of musclemen with a view to rigging the polls and tilting the balance in favour of their party. The memorandum submitted to the deputy commissioner pointed out that when the voters went to cast their votes at polling station 15 of Aparbasti LP School no. 836 under Machughat gaon panchayat, a horde of henchmen owing allegiance to a party stood on their way at the entry point and did not allow them to participate in the polling process.
It was further stated in the memorandum the voters who lined up from early 6 am found everything running smoothly till 8 am. After that the local musclemen took control of the booth in the very presence of the presiding and poll officials as well as the policemen. Slowly and gradually, by 12 noon the capture of booth was complete without any whimper of protest from the presiding officer or agents of different political parties.
In the final count, as the memorandum pointed out, of the total electorate of 890 in the booth, 550 voters despite their photo electoral identity on rolls could not vote. Their votes, as alleged, were impersonated. Some of the voters who protested against the muscle power were roughed up and showed the door out. Disappointed and denied of their fundamental right to vote, the voters of the three villages finding no way out decided to lodge their protest with the Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Cachar here today. The voters have demanded repoll for centre no 836, Ajorbasti, Machughat GP for the sake of justice and in the interest of democracy. They at the same time pressed for shifting their polling booth to Rajargaon L P School no. 1099, Dhumkar Pathshala School for their safety and security and also for fair poll. (Source:SentinelAssam) 

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