Voting only began when security was increased and officials promised to consider their requests.

TN Dalit villagers boycott polls demanding separate polling booth later convinced to voteImage for representation/ PTI
news TN 2016 Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 13:30

On Monday, Dalit voters in Kuruvithurai village in Sholavandan constituency boycotted the voting process till afternoon asking for an additional polling booth in their locality. They said that an additional booth was required for them to vote without any problems from upper caste groups.

Voting only began when security was increased and officials promised to consider their requests.

According to The New Indian Express, Sholavandan constituency has about 600 caste Hindu families and 150 Dalit families. In January, a violent clash took place between the two groups, in which the Dalits suffered large losses in property.

On Monday morning, Dalits residing on Kaliamman Koil East Street and in Indira Colony started protesting for a separate polling booth. They gathered at the Kaliamman Temple and refused to cast their votes.

The Dalit voters blamed the officials for locating the booth in a community hall in a caste Hindu area.

A villager, M Moorthy, told TNIE, “We are already facing harassment from the caste-Hindus in various ways. Hence we requested the officials to set up a separate polling station for us in our locality as was the case during the civic elections. But now, the separate booth was made at a building in the caste Hindu area.”

Many of them feared being attacked when they went for voting in that area. They said the election officials were “indifferent” to their plight, and hence did not provide a separate polling booth.

Returning officer Indiravalli said that they were provided with more security while voting and were told that their request would be taken into consideration, after which most of them apparently cast their votes.

 

Also read- Tamil Nadu exit polls leaves even TV anchors and analysts in doubt

From pre-polls to exit-polls, a huge swing in favour of DMK in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu exit polls predict DMK surge, 4 out of 5 show AIADMK falls behind

In pictures: Kollywood celebs cast their ballot and urge others to vote

These 5 villages in TN decided to boycott polls, here's why

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.