KARNATAKA

7,000 abstain from polling in Gauribidanur taluk

Expressing ire: Residents of Thumakalahalli in Chickaballapur district protesting against the shifting of the polling station to a far-off place.

Expressing ire: Residents of Thumakalahalli in Chickaballapur district protesting against the shifting of the polling station to a far-off place.  

Special Correspondent

They were mourning the death of three gemstone traders

CHICKABALLAPUR: Nearly 7,000 people from Alipura village in Gauribidanur taluk of Chickballapur district on Thursday abstained from voting to mourn the death of three gemstones traders from the village, who were recently murdered in Gujarat.

Chickaballapur MP and former Union Minister R.L. Jalappa, who is a voter in Alipura, also abstained from voting to express solidarity with the mourners.

Not a single vote was cast in any of the six polling stations in the village, where nearly 75 per cent of the people are Shia Muslims. The officials turned down the request by the residents of Alipura to conduct polling in the village on a later date.

Talking to presspersons at the house of one of the murdered gemstones traders in Alipura, Mr. Jalappa urged the Gujarat and the Union Governments to order a CBI probe into the triple murder.

Decomposed bodies of gemstones traders Mir Saini Abbas (24), Sahoor Raza (25) and Zubair Abbas (26) were found buried in the same grave of a farmhouse in Banaskantha district of North Gujarat on Wednesday. The three were suspected to have been strangled on April 12 following a business dispute.

Boycott

Residents of Thumakalahalli village in Chickaballapur taluk and in N. Bandapalli in Gudibande taluk boycotted voting to protest against the shifting of polling stations to far-off places.

While voters from Thumakalahalli complained that there was no proper road to the new polling station, those from N. Bandapalli said the new polling station was located six km from their village.

C. Narayanappa (102) exercised his franchise at a polling booth in Yeluvahalli village, of the Nandi hills, in Chickaballapur taluk. The physically fit centenarian was accompanied by his friend Rangappa (98), who too cast his vote at the same booth.

Refuse to walk

Bangalore Staff Reporter writes: Residents of Doddakoppa, near Kanakapura in Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency refused to walk to a neighbouring village to cast the vote, resulting in boycott. Residents of Doddakoppa village, that has about 1,000 votes, have been demanding a separate polling booth for their village. However, they were told that their polling booth had been set up in Togadegowdana Doddi, a neighbouring village.

Despite the political parties coming forward to arrange transport facilities, the protesters refused to vote demanding booths in their village, the police said.

In Ramagondanahalli near Yelahanka, in Chikaballapura Lok Sabha constituency, nearly 1,400 boycotted the poll demanding extra compensation for their lands, which have been already acquired by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

The residents said that after the Bengaluru International Airport came up at Devanahalli, the price of land skyrocketed in Ramagondanahalli and neighbouring areas. The villagers said that they had not been suitably compensated, and had requested the BDA for extra compensation, which had been “neglected.” However, by late afternoon, only a few people voted.

Similarly residents of Doddachannohalli village in Nelamangala coming under the same constituency also boycotted the polls to protest against poor civic amenities in the village. The village that has 240 votes boycotted totally demanding improvement of public transport, water facilities, roads and electricity, the Nelamangala police said. In Magadi taluk, villagers of Lakkenahalli boycotted the polls to protest against shifting of the booth to Kannasandra, a neighbouring village.

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