JIH slams police lathicharge on voters outside polling booths during ongoing Parliamentary elections, asks Election Commission to act

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India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—Condemning the unprovoked police lathicharge on voters lining up outside the polling booths in some parts of Western UP that prevented a large number of voters from exercising their right to vote during the ongoing Parliamentary elections, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has appealed to the Election Commission of India to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the next polling phases and voters cast their vote without any fear or obstruction from any quarters.

JIH vice president Malik Moatasim Khan, in a media statement, referred to unprovoked police lathi-charge at polling booths in Muslim-concentrated villages in Western Uttar Pradesh where Muslims and other marginalised communities were targeted.

Political analysts allege that the police action was orchestrated to prevent Muslims and other marginalised communities from voting based on the belief that these sections of voters generally cast their votes to political parties other than the BJP. BJP is in power in Uttar Pradesh and in several other states as well as at the Centre.

Media reports say that hundreds of voters lining up outside the polling centres sustained injuries in police action.

This also prevented a large number of voters, particularly Muslims, from exercising their right to cast their votes. This happened particularly in the Aliganj Assembly segment in Farrukhabad Lok Sabha constituency as well as in Aonla Lok Sabha constituency.

According to media reports, there were also reports of bogus polling in Rasulabad assembly area of the Kannauj Lok Sabha constituency.

Reacting to these developments, Mr Khan said that “these heavy-handed police action on innocent voters undermines the basic democratic right of citizens to participate freely in the electoral process.”

“In a democracy, it is essential that every citizen, irrespective of their background or beliefs, be encouraged and facilitated to cast their vote without fear or obstruction. However, the incidents highlighted above represent a troubling trend where Muslims and other marginalized communities are systematically targeted and disenfranchised,” the JIH leader pointed out.

Mr Khan asked the Election Commission of India to thoroughly investigate these incidents and take immediate measures to ensure that such incidents were not repeated in future electoral phases.

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