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Tension prevails in two villages in Basavana Bagewadi in Vijayapura

Published - May 10, 2023 09:31 pm IST - Belagavi

A mob topples a car and smashes EVM machines in Masabinal village in Vijayapura district, after wrongly believing that officers had stopped polling mid way and were taking the machines out of the booth on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Tension prevailed in Masabinal in Vijayapura district on Wednesday after a mob damaged EVM machines and toppled an officer‘s car, wrongly believing that officials had taken the ballot unit away, after stopping polling midway. They damaged two ballot units, two control units and three VVPAT machines.

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Similar confusion prevailed in Islampur tanda where JD(S) workers chased a government jeep that was carrying EVM and VVPAT machines. They stopped it and forced the driver to take the vehicle to the police station. Police called the sector officers who clarified that they were spare machines that were not used in the booths till now. They were being moved as they were needed in other areas where machines were malfunctioning, a sector officer said. But JD(S) workers kept complaining that the booth officials were stopping polling and taking the half filled machines away. They dispersed after the sector officers assured them that voting was not stopped in any booth in the district.

The two villages – Masabinal and Islampur Tanda – are in Basavana Bagewadi Assembly constituency. Congress MLA Shivanand Patil is seeking re-election from Basavana Bagewadi. S.K. Bellubbi, former Minister, is the BJP candidate. Somanagouda Patil is the JD(S) nominee here.

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In Masabinal, when three officers took two EVM machines and loaded them into a car, the crowd thought that they were taking them away, before completing the polling process. The units were spare machines kept for emergencies.

The crowd toppled the car and broke the units by throwing them out. Police had to resort to lathi charge to disperse the crowd. DC Vijaymahantesh Danammanavar said polling was not affected. “The spare units were being taken away to another booth. Voting has resumed,” he said.

SP H.D. Anand Kumar said that 25 persons were taken into custody on charges of assaulting poll duty officials and damaging EVM machines. He warned of strict action against those who took the law into their own hands.

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