Jharkhand Maoists call poll boycott

March 16th, 2009 - 7:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Latehar/Chatra (Jharkhand), Mar 16 (ANI): Maoists in Jharkhand call for boycott of the general elections, which is scheduled to be held next month.
In Latehar and Chatra district of Jharkhand, the Maoists have painted the walls with writings, threatening villagers from casting votes and with dire consequences if they take part in the polls.
“We are living in constant fear. The Maoists threaten us not to cast vote. We really can”t say now whether we would be able to cast votes or not,” said Anil Kumar, a resident.
Officials say that security would be provided to the villagers during the polls and asked people to come forward and exercise their right without any fear.
“We appeal to the people not to get scared. Security arrangements are being made and forces would be deployed near polling booths. They can cast their votes without fear,” Anil Kumar Singh, Sub Divisional Officer (SDO), Latehar.
Meanwhile, a victim of Maoists” atrocities of Chatra district recalls the horror when his thumb was chopped by the guerillas for taking part in the polls.
“They (Maoists) blamed us that we cast votes and also encouraged others to cast votes They then beat us one by one and then chopped one of my friends’’s hand and my right hand thumb,” said Mahadev Yadav, a victim.
In impoverished Jharkhand, where insurgents say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, over 1,350 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence over the last seven years. (ANI)

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