That’s the reason why many polling booths in Bastar which had recorded zero polling in the 2013 assembly polls, had witnessed fair polling this time.
Bhopal: Tribal voters hailing from remote villages of insurgency-hit Bastar in Chhattisgarh have preferred to stay away from their homes till the indelible inks marked on their fingers while casting vote are removed, for fear of reprisals from Maoists.
Intelligence sources in Chhattisgarh police told this newspaper that voters of at least a dozen villages in south Bastar districts of Dantewada and Sukma have deferred their homecomings by camping in places close to the polling centres where they had cast their votes on November 12.
“Maoists have threatened to chop off fingers of those who dared to vote by defying their dictate. But, a large number of tribals braved Maoist threats to pour into polling centres miles away from their homes to exercise their franchise this time. Some of them have been reported to be camping in other villages waiting for disappearance of the electoral stain on their fingers,” sources revealed.
It takes at least 72 hours to remove the indelible ink.
“Tribals usually resort to this practice during every election,” a senior police officer posted in Bastar division, comprising seven districts, told this newspaper unwilling to be quoted.
When contacted, DIG, state intelligence bureau, P. Sunderraj, however, said tribals in large numbers cast their votes this time due to adequate security provided in Bastar.
“Tribals in Bastar are no longer scared of Maoist threats”, he added.
That’s the reason why many polling booths in Bastar which had recorded zero polling in the 2013 assembly elections, had witnessed fair polling this time.
In the first phase, 18 Assembly constituencies had gone to polls in Chhattisgarh on November 12. The rest 72 seats will go to polls in the second phase assembly elections in the state on November 20.