Violence tests nerves of poll staff, voters

Violence tests nerves of poll staff, voters

The violence-marred bypoll to the Srinagar Parliament seat on Sunday tested the nerves of hundreds of state employees deployed on election duty.

At most of the 1,500 polling stations in three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal, the security forces personnel deployed outnumbered the voters.

Mohammad Yosuf, a presiding officer at polling booth number 59-M (Zanipora, Chadoora in Budgam) had been taken hostage by the protesters along with other staff and some CRPF personnel.

“We are confined to a single room since morning. Even the seal of the EVM couldn’t be opened due to intense stone pelting. The protesters have surrounded the polling station from all sides and we pray to Allah everything goes is alright,” Yosuf told DH.

At some  booths in Budgam, the on-duty staffers received injuries when they were hit by stones. “This has been the most failed election in the state in which people are only expressing anger. The Government has thrown us at the mercy of stone pelters. Why didn’t they take appropriate security measures before finalising the polls?” asked a poll official.

Voters’ enthusiasm was also missing as compared to 2014 polls. “I had come to vote like the previous elections. But after seeing the situation outside the polling booth, I too joined the protesters to save myself. I haven’t seen this kind of situation even in 90’s when elections were held in the peak of insurgency,” said Ghulam Mohammad, a septuagenarian voter.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry