20 held for trying to cast bogus votes

20 held for trying to cast bogus votes

The police on Sunday arrested 20 people, in two cases, for allegedly trying to cast bogus votes in the Bommanahalli and Chickpet Assembly constituencies in the City.

According to Congress workers in Bommanahalli constituency, on Sunday afternoon eight private buses were stationed in front of a government school in Devarachikkanahalli. Men and women alighted from these buses and proceeded towards polling booth number 182 in the school to cast their votes.

Dushyanth, a local congress worker told Deccan Herald that they found it unusual as hundreds of people came in buses at once to vote. When Congress workers made discreet inquires with these men and women, it emerged that they were fake voters. There were at least 400 people in these buses, he claimed.

The Congress workers rounded up these men, alleging that the BJP had brought them to vote in its favour. As the Congress and the BJP workers clashed over the issue, there was tension in the area. The Mico Layout police rushed to the spot and used mild force to disperse the two groups. Later, the police arrested eight people, who were not residents of the area but had tried to cast bogus votes.

The arrested have been identified as Anita, Sowjanya, Kantamma, Bharamappa, Praveen, Anand, Santosh and Savitha, all workers at a private garment firm in Hebbugodi. The police also seized six private buses.

Santosh of Hebbugodi, one of the arrested, said that one Vijay had approached them five months ago and collected their photographs and assured them of getting their names included in the electoral list.

“A few days ago, he got us EPIC. Today, he brought us here and told us to vote for the BJP. We were assured of Rs 500, food and liquor for every vote,” he claimed.
Kupendra Reddy, a local Congress leader, alleged that the BJP had hatched a conspiracy to rig the elections. “Names of those from areas outside the constituency have been included in the electoral rolls,” he said and alleged that the local police were hand-in-glove with the BJP.

In another case, 12 people were arrested by the Tilaknagar police when they tried to cast bogus votes at booth number 214 of the Chickpet constituency. Local Congress workers caught them and alerted the police. A Congress worker alleged that by the time police rushed to the spot, many of the fake voters had fled the area.

The arrested are: Muniyappa, Srinivasa, Narayanaswamy, Saravana, Bhavani, Anusha, Geeta, Manjula, Sujatha, Ashwini, Sowmya and Vasantamma.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) Dr P S Harsha said all the 12 were from Mastenahalli village in Kolar district. They were trying to cast votes using fake election ID cards. However, he denied knowledge as to who had arranged the group.

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