Panchayat Polls: 29 booked for fanning violence in Rajouri

Locals demand recounting of votes in Khawas

SUMIT BHARGAV
Rajouri, Publish Date: Dec 6 2018 3:21AM | Updated Date: Dec 6 2018 3:21AM
Panchayat Polls: 29 booked for fanning violence in RajouriRepresentational pic

In a late night clash at a counting hall in Khawas area of Rajouri's Kotranka division, a mob resorted to strong stone pelting on the polling staff. Police fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob.

Police said it booked 29 persons of the area for creating violence. However, the locals demanded recounting of votes and alleged that one candidate was unduly supported by the officials.
Sources said last night at about 9:30, after counting of votes for sarpanch election in Keri Bhela panchayat, some people demanded recounting, which was subsequently done.
“However, after the recounting, the supporters of one side levelled serious allegations against the officials on election duty,” sources said.
An official of the administration said the people initially created chaos around the counting centre and then assembled at a distance from the centre and resorted to stone pelting.
"For more than two hours, election staff and police personnel remained inside the centre and people kept pelting stones on the centre which led to panic in the entire area," he said.
The official said that repeated attempts to pacify the people failed and the protesters continued throwing stones for more than two hours.
"Reinforcement of police teams was rushed to the site and later tear gas shells were fired at about 12:30 midnight to disperse the mob," he said.
At about 2 AM today, polling teams were given safe passage and they left from there.
Meanwhile, senior superintendent of police, Rajouri, Yougal Manhas said that 29 persons have been booked by Rajouri police in this incident of violence and stone pelting.
" Panchayat elections in the area were held on Tuesday and counting process was going on smoothly when some confrontation erupted over counting of votes at a counting hall in Khawas area," said Manhas, adding that soon after this, some people resorted to violence and created law and order problem despite repeated attempts by the officials present there to pacify them.
These people than started stone pelting on the counting hall.
As it was dark, police and para military forces on duty maintained maximum restrain, SSP added.
However, late in the night, four tear gas shells were fired by forces to disperse the mob and then with the assistance of some senior citizens of the area, police team led by additional superintendent of police, Nowshera, G L Sharma got the situation under control and the polling staff and ballot boxes were given safe passage, SSP Manhas further said.
He informed that a case in FIR 92/2018 under section 336, 147, 148, 435, 506, 34 RPC has been registered in Budhal police station and 29 persons have been booked for spreading violence and resorting to law and order problem.
On the other hand, local people from the area, who are supporters of one side, demanded recounting of votes of the panchayat under the supervision of a new returning officer.
They alleged that favour was done to one of the candidate.

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