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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: People from 5 Maoist-hit villages cast votes in own area for first time since Jharkhand's formation

Earlier, the voters of Garia, Amkudar, Pathel, Baniabandh and Sikid villages in Kanhachatti block had to walk for 10-11 km on difficult terrain to exercise their franchise in polling stations at either Kendua, Sahore or Jashpur.
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 16:23 IST
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 16:23 IST

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Chatra (Jharkhand): Electors from five Maoist-hit villages in Jharkhand's Chatra district on Monday cast their votes in large numbers for the first time in their own booths since the state's creation in 2000, an official said.

Earlier, the voters of Garia, Amkudar, Pathel, Baniabandh and Sikid villages in Kanhachatti block had to walk for 10-11 km on difficult terrain to exercise their franchise in polling stations at either Kendua, Sahore or Jashpur.

Their booths used to be relocated due to security threats from Maoists, the official said.

However, this time, the district administration set up three booths at Garia, Sikid and Pathel for the residents of the five villages. The Sikid booth, however, was tagged with Garia.

All the three booths registered over 50 per cent polling till 3 pm.

The Garia booth at Upgraded Middle School, where a total of 824 voters were enrolled, recorded 59.9 per cent polling till 3 pm, while the Sikid booth registered 51 per cent voting. The booth has altogether 523 registered voters.

The Pathel booth at Middle School recorded 57 per cent polling till 3 pm. The booth has a total of 1,072 electors.

Kanhachatti Block Development Officer (BDO) Pramod Kumar said that electors of the five villages have voted for the first time in their booths since the formation of Jharkhand.

"Earlier, the voting percentage used to be low here due to Maoists' call to boycott elections and also distance of the relocated polling booths from the area. However, the district administration led by Chatra Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Gholap established the polling booths in these villages. The DC also participated in voter awareness campaigns. As a result, the voting percentage has increased," Kumar said.

Nand Kishor Yadav, a voter, said, "Earlier, there was a fear of Maoists. They used to give a call to boycott elections. However, this time the situation is different. People cast their votes fearlessly. We are happy to exercise our franchise in our own booths after two decades."

Lalita Devi, another voter, said, "We had no fear this time as there were adequate security arrangements. We cast our votes comfortably."

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Published 20 May 2024, 16:23 IST

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