29 booked for violence during counting

RAJOURI: Supporters of two candidates clashed on Tuesday evening following allegations of favour to a candidate during counting at Higher Secondary School, Khawas, Rajouri.

editorial@tribune.com

Shyam Sood

Rajouri, December 5

Supporters of two candidates clashed on Tuesday evening following allegations of favour to a candidate during counting at Higher Secondary School, Khawas, Rajouri.

Six persons, including four policemen, were injured as two groups attacked each other with stones. The supporters also set on fire school furniture. One of the injured civilians, who received a head injury, was referred to a hospital in Jammu.

The police have registered an FIR against 29 persons for creating trouble, said Yougal Manhas, Rajouri Senior Superintendent of Police.

The clashes took place after Noshada Begam, a candidate for the sarpanch seat for the Bhela panchayat in the Khawas block, alleged that she was leading during the counting of votes, but her opponent Nasreen Akhter was declared the winner.

“After recounting, Noshada was leading but the poll officials under the influence of Nasreen’s politically well-connected family declared her the winner, leading to clashes,” alleged Shamsher Singh, a local political leader.

Rajouri Additional Deputy Commissioner Sher Singh Thakur said Nasreen was declared the winner because even after recounting she was leading with 46 votes.

Meanwhile, taking serious note of lack of infrastructure at a polling station at Keri, the District Election Officer (DEO) has suspended village-level worker Yasar Iqbal and gram rojgar sevak Riaz Hussain and stopped the salary of the Khawas Block Development Officer (BDO) for providing wrong information about a polling booth in the Keri panchayat.

The two officials have been suspended for not inspecting the polling station despite directions to all BDOs to conduct the physical verification of the polling stations under their jurisdiction.

The BDO was directed to explain why the infrastructure and basic minimum facilities at the Keri polling station were not inspected as per directions.

The polling station was established at a middle school at Keri but the building was without roof and not well prepared for the conduct of the panchayat elections.

The video of the building without any basic facilities has gone viral, causing embarrassment to the district administration.

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