Jailed Maoist leader not allowed to voteMay 10th, 2011 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, May 10 (IANS) Chhatradhar Mahato, the jailed convenor of a pro-Maoist tribal group in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district, was perhaps the only candidate in the state assembly elections who could not cast his vote Tuesday.
Chhatradhar, the candidate from the Maoist-affected Jhargram constituency in the district, could not cast his vote as he is lodged in the district correctional home, state joint Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Dubyendu Sarkar said Tuesday.
The Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) convenor Chhatradhar has been lodged in the Midnapore correctional home since his October 2009 arrest. He is accused in at least 31 cases, including murder, sedition and crimes under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
According to CEO office sources, Chhatradhar had earlier appealed before the local court to allow him to cast his vote Tuesday in the sixth phase of the state polls. But the court rejected his plea under section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act.
The section says that no person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police.
Meanwhile, two former hardcore Maoists, who have surrendered and are lodged in rehabilitation centres, also exercised their franchise, Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Zulfikar Hassan said.
“Malini Hansda expressed her desire to vote and exercised her franchise in Ranibandh constituency (of Bankura district),” Superintendent of Police Pranav Kumar said.
In Jhargram constituency, Shovan Karok was escorted to the booth to cast his vote, but other Maoists did not show any interest to participate in the democratic process.
“We had, however, made special security arrangements to escort them to polling stations,” West Midnapore Additional Superintendent of Police (operation) Mukesh Kumar said.
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- Heavy voting in Maoist heartland as Bengal polls end (Roundup) - May 10, 2011
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- I wish I could canvass for Mahato: Trinamool MP - May 28, 2011
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- Detained Maoists call off 12-day hunger strike - Dec 23, 2010
- Polling ends in West Bengal Tuesday as Maoist heartland votes - May 09, 2011
- Bengal polls end with heavy voting in Maoist heartland (Intro Roundup) - May 10, 2011
- Campaigning ends for West Bengal polls - May 08, 2011
Tags: assembly elections, ceo office, chief electoral officer, convenor, district superintendent, lawful custody, local court, maoist, maoists, midnapore district, police operation, pranav, prevention act, security arrangements, sixth phase, special security, state polls, tribal group, west bengal, zulfikar