Mumbai

Scraps break out over missing names

Mumbai: Scenes outside the GD Somani Memorial School on Tuesday afternoon were in stark contrast to most other localities in South Mumbai, which saw a relatively quiet turnout in various voting booths. While crowds of people poured into the school to vote from the nearby slum tenements of Machhimar Nagar by early afternoon, following some altercations within the premises, the school building was surrounded by police officials on both sides of the road while three blue police vans carrying personnel were parked along the road. Police officials looked tense as they surveyed both sides of the road, breaking up groups of people who had gathered and telling them to go back if they had finished voting.

According to a police official on the scene, the altercations were because a large number of people did not find their names on the voters list which gave rise to the suspicion of bogus voting in large numbers. All through the afternoon, crowds milled around the tables where people checked the voter rolls. Some who were asked to clear away from the area and head back down the narrow lane across the school leading to Machhimar Nagar claimed that they weren’t given enough time to sort out the issue. “We were told to move on quickly and that we must be supposed to vote somewhere else but for the previous election and for the Assembly polls our voting was done here,” said Anant Patil, who work in a shop on the nearby Wodehouse Road. Another woman, Geeta Raut, said that several residents had gone to check if their names had appeared instead in a smaller booth behind the World Trade Centre but to no avail. “If this many people are here and their names haven’t appeared it definitely means that the politicians have fixed something,” she said.

Besides the area around the GD Somani Memorial School, polling was relatively peaceful and voting booths around Colaba, Churchgate and Malabar Hill. In areas around Girgaum and Grant Road though, people who had visited smaller booth had similar complaints their names were not on the list. “The officials here are saying that to carry the voter card is not enough and they can only check the names if you have the temporary slip that issues to you,” said Sajid Khan, an engineer. His wife, he said, had not been able to vote but they had persisted for more than an hour and had sorted out the issue.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 5:40:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/scraps-break-out-over-missing-names/article17343652.ece

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