Dalits in Bihar demand separate polling booths

April 6th, 2009 - 8:45 pm ICT by ANI  

By Ajay Sharma

Hasanpur (Bihar), Apr 6 (ANI): The Dalits, traditionally regarded as low castes, have asked for a separate polling booth in Hasanpur village in the Phulwari Sharif block in Bihar.

The Dalit villagers fear that the Dabhangs, a group of socially dominant people, would harm them if they exercise the right of voting.

“We go for casting our votes but when we reach the booth, we are notallowed to vote and are forced to leave the booth. We want a separate booth so that we can caste our votes in peace as we cannot fight with those people,” said Dhananjay Majhi, a Dalit villager.

” Our name is there in the voter’s list . When we stand in the queue, those who are present in the booth tell us that our names have been removed from the list and therefore we cannot caste our votes,” said Upendra Majhi, another Dalit.

The District Superintendent of Police of Phulwari Sharif block Dilnawaz Ahmad has assured the Dalits that adequate security has been provided at the polling booths to enable the Dalits to caste their votes without any problem.

“When we were inspecting , we came across the complaint. We are trying to make arrangements for their security so that no one stops them from casting their votes,” said Ahmed.

Dalits are a downtrodden class socially and economically. Though the caste system has been formally abolished under the Indian Constitution, there is still discrimination and prejudice against Dalits. (ANI)

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