Dhanbad, May 14: Allaying the fear of Maoists boycott call, the villagers on Saturday turned out in large scale at village booths to select their own local government in three Maoist-influenced blocks of Dhanbad.
In the first phase of Panchayat polls, in which polling is going on, in three blocks Topchanchi, Tundi and East Tundi that are considered Naxal influenced regions.
Voting is under progress in 641 booths in Topchanchi block (326), Tundi block (203) and East Tundi block (112). With the start of polling at 7 am voters, especially women, joined in line at their booths in large scale from early morning.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) cum district electoral officer Sandip Singh said that total 19% voting was recorded till 9 am.
“It is their (Naxals) work to call for boycott of voting, my work is to vote for selection of Mukhiya (Panchayat chief). So why would we follow their decree,” said a woman voter in the East Tundi block while standing in line at the booth.
A first time girl voter at a booth in Tundi block said she was waiting for this day (to cast her vote for the first time) for a long time. Moreover, since her uncle was contesting, how could she avoid voting due to the fear of Maoists.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sanjiv Kumar, Superintendent of Police (SP) (Rural) Rishma Rameshan after a visit on eve of voting day in Topchanchi block and joint flag march of CRPF and district police in Tundi blocks are said to have restored confidence in villagers to vote without any fear in polls.
The SSP said that peaceful polling reports were coming from all 641 booths in three blocks. “To avoid any untoward incident during polling CRPF, Jaguar and district police personnel have been deployed in the area to monitor the situation,” said SSP Sanjiv Kumar.