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WB polls: Minority women in Purulia did not vote
Hussain said that it is unfortunate that none of the 641 Muslim women came to vote in the two polling booths.
Purulia: Though there were great expectations that they would vote because of special arrangements made for them, 641 Muslim women who had never voted in six decades at two booths in Purulia district did not do so either on Saturday.
A women photographer had taken the photographs of the reclusive Muslim women of Nutondi village in Raghunathpur block-II as they did not wish to appear before a male lensman for their electoral photo identity cards and all-women polling personnel were set up by the Election Commission for booth number 59 and 59 of Para assemby constituency.
"What can we do if they don't vote despite posting women polling personnel as desired by them," a disappointed Abid Hussain, the sub-divisional officer who is in charge of Para constituency, told reporters.
"It is unfortunate that none of the 641 Muslim women came to vote in the two polling booths," he said.
The husbands who came to vote, when asked why the women did not do so, had the common refrain that "we have been following this custom from the time of our ancestors."
55-year-old Sk Omar was a bit more forthcoming. He told PTI that some of the women were willing to vote but their husbands did not allow them.
60-year-old Mohammed Unus claimed the women had 'boycotted the vote for non-development' of the area.
The women had not voted earlier because they did not have the Epics since they were unwilling to be photographed by a male photographer, according to District Magistrate and District Election Officer A Singh.
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