Indian Express

For defying poll boycott, village fines five

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Five persons in a Mathura village have been fined Rs 51,000 each for defying a panchayat call to boycott last week’s poll. An FIR has been lodged at Govardhan police station against unidentified villagers for issuing threats to one of the families that voted.

The sub-divisional magistrate of Sadar and the additional SP of Mathura visited Marora village Monday to take stock of this. The village panchayat had given a call to boycott the election as an expression of their anger against the absence of a proper road. ]

ASP Manoj Kumar Sonkar said there is no tension in the village. He added they spoke to the families concerned and assured them of security.

Subdivisional magistrate Rajesh Kumar said before Mathura went to polls Thursday, villagers held a panchayat and decided no one would vote. Villagers are upset that a planned three-kilometre road connecting to the main road was never constructed.

Village pradhan Jamman said it was difficult to reach the city, hence it was decided unanimously that no one would vote. It was decided that should anyone vote, he or she would be fined Rs 51,000 and hit with shoes.

SHO Tejveer Singh said Megh Shyam, who lives in Delhi, went to his village on Wednesday and was not aware of the panchayat’s decision. He cast his vote along with two women of the family Thursday morning. He has since returned to Delhi. The other two villagers who cast their votes were Ganga Ram and Manilal.

There are 2,521 voters in the village. When villagers came to know about five persons casting their vote, a panchayat was held again and villagers went to the house of Megh Shyam’s brother Om Prakash who was not in. The panchayat members and others allegedly threatened the women for defying the panchayat decision.

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