Gujarat elections: 'Underdeveloped' villages in Kheda, Mehsana districts boycott polling
Muslim voters in Undhela village of Gujarat's Kheda district on Monday boycotted the assembly elections as they were allegedly upset with the public flogging of some Muslim men by police in October, NDTV reported. Victims were accused of stone-throwing at a Navratri festival. Meanwhile, four other villages completely boycotted polling for lack of development, as per reports.
Police action keeps Muslim voters away
According to reports, some Muslim men were arrested in October and flogged with canes after being tied to a pole by police personnel in the Kheda district. The incident happened in presence of senior officials with the victims reportedly asking to "apologize to the public". The incident sparked outrage, prompting Gujarat Police to order a probe. However, no report has been released so far.
Public flogging after stone pelting incident during Navratri
According to PTI, a mob of around 150 people threw stones at a Garba during Navratri on the premises of a temple on October 3. Police registered the First Information Report (FIR) and named 43 people in it. It also mentioned that members from the Muslim community had objected to Garba being near a mosque, which is located across the temple.
Lack of development prompts boycott in four other villages
Meanwhile, voters in four other Gujarat villages boycotted the polls owing to developmental difficulties. Residents of Mehsana district stated they were boycotting the polls since there had been no progress in their villages. The village includes Bariyaf village in Becharaji Taluka and three villages in Kheralu Taluka. They claimed that their grievances had gone unresolved for decades.
Village Sarpanch rue decades of pending works
"For decades around half-a-dozen issues were pending, and even after several reminders and personal requests, nothing has been done," IANS quoted Bariyaf Village Sarpanch Raju Patel as saying. He cited an example of the failure of the Water Resources Department to provide drinking water.
Reports of protest and public demand
As per ET, almost 1,000 residents of Bariyaf village also organized demonstrations during the voting. "We will only vote if the Mehsana district collector promises in writing to resolve the pending issues," Patel said Villagers in Kheralu Taluka, Varethna, Dalisana, and Davol have also boycotted voting. They complaint was about the Rupen River which has not been revived and village lakes not filled