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1-min read

BSP Says UP Police Using Force to Prevent Dalits from Voting After Shots Fired Outside Kairana Booth

Authorities, however, said that the men were turned away because they did not carry their voter ID cards.

News18.com

Updated:April 11, 2019, 6:34 PM IST
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BSP Says UP Police Using Force to Prevent Dalits from Voting After Shots Fired Outside Kairana Booth
There was tension at the polling booth after police fired in the air to turn away the voters.
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The Bahujan Samaj Party on Thursday alleged that Dalit voters were being stopped from reaching polling booths by Uttar Pradesh Police using force and demanded the immediate intervention of the Election Commission.

In a statement, the party’s national general secretary SC Misra said that information has been received from several polling booths that that BSP voters, especially Dalits, were stopped from reaching polling booths.

“UP police is even going to the extent of using force of batons so that they may not be able to cast their votes. All this is apparently being done under the dictates of higher ups. Immediate intervention is required on this otherwise (there is no purpose of elections,” the BSP leader said.

Two Dalit voters from Uttar Pradesh's Kairana have claimed that they were turned away at polling booth 40 near Kajiwada because of their caste.

Ram Prasad and Rani Gautam from Kairana constituency's Shamli Naya Bazaar, alleged that they were not allowed to cast their ballots despite their names being on the voters list. They further accused the polling officers of "humiliating them".

Authorities, however, said that the men were turned away because they did not carry their voter ID cards.

According to news agency ANI, security forces in Kairana fired in the air after several people reportedly turned up to vote without voter identity cards. No one was injured in the firing and the voting has resumed.

Around 25 to 30 people without proper documentation turned up to cast their votes at a polling station in Shamli. When they refused to leave the polling station, security forces opened fire. Police also had to baton charge the people, the report said.

"BSF personnel fired in the air for security reasons after some people without voter ID, tried to cast vote. Voting has resumed now," the District Magistrate of Shamli was quoted as saying.

Kairana and seven other seats in western Uttar Pradesh - Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddha Nagar - are voting in the first of the seven phases in the Lok Sabha election.

Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 parliamentary seats, will see polling in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha election.

In Kairana, the Samajwadi Party has fielded Tabassum Hasan, the sitting lawmaker from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), as a joint candidate of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance.
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