Friday, January 20, 2006

10,000 victims of CPM's terror machine

The Statesman (Jan 20 2006) has an article on the victims of Communist terror who will not be able to vote in the coming elections.

Homeless & voteless... from Khanakul to Kolkata

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, Jan. 19. — Names on electoral rolls, ration cards and voters’ identity cards in place notwithstanding, nearly 10,000-odd men and women living in the city cannot vote.
Trinamul Congress supporters all, they dare not step into the polling booths at Goghat, Khanakul, Sabang and Pingla, to name a few, after having fled to the concrete jungle, leaving behind the places of their births in the fear for their lives.
Even as Election Commission observers are scouring the state in search of false voters, these voters have been de facto disenfranchised by terror. And they have little hope of casting their ballots this time, in spite of the EC team.
The spectre of violence arose since 2000 after Trinamul Congress emerged triumphant in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation election, Ashok Chongdar, an erstwhile resident of Kotalpur Assembly segment in Bankura, told The Statesman here. He ought to know as he had himself fled to this city with his wife and children in September, 2000.
“There is no possibility of my name and that of my wife being deleted from the voters’ list,” he said. “The votes that would be cast in our names are actually bonus votes for the CPI-M,” he added ruefully.
Not having voted since 1998, Mongleshwar Mallik of Garbeta Assembly segment still yearns to cast his ballot, even if for once. His ration card, voters’ identity card and all other relevant documents are still at his Chhoto Angaria home where he cannot dare return.
Like Chongdar and Mallik, Mussaraf Khan of Baital and Abdur Rahaman Mandal of Garbeta have similar stories to tell. But they are all tragic ones and their frustration at being disenfranchised is palpable, even amidst their daily struggle to make two ends meet in this metropolis.
“These people are part of a drifting voters’ population whose existence has been brought to the EC’s notice,” said Mr Madan Mitra, president of Trinamul Congress’ youth wing.
The EC has been asked to ensure that besides weeding out bogus voters, genuine voters are also allowed to cast their votes, he added.



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