A village dominated by members of the Dalit community in Moradabad constituency that went to polls in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday boycotted voting till noon, protesting a shoot-out by three youths that left a man dead and two others injured on Sunday.
About 1,000 voters of Mukundpur village, under Badhapur police station area in Bijnor district, ended the protest and voted after the District Magistrate and SP assured them of action against the accused. However, only 50 per cent of the villagers could cast their vote till the evening.
The polling booth in the village did not record a single vote till 1.30pm as the village head had declared to boycott the polls on Monday. Three suspects have been detained and are being questioned, sources said.
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Bijnor SP Sanjeev Tyagi said, "Villagers, including the pradhan, were on protest and decided not to vote. We went to the village and assured them of resolving the case soon. They were convinced and agreed to cast the vote."
Village head Mintoo said, "We decided in a meeting in the village yesterday (Monday) that no one would vote as the police were not making any sincere effort to arrest the accused despite the clues we gave about the assailants who came in a red car. We had also informed the police that the accused were from Badhapur town."
Mintoo said, "It was around 12.30pm when the SP and the DM came to the village and called us for a discussion. They assured us that the accused would be arrested and the case would be solved by tomorrow (Wednesday)… we decided to vote."
Sujeet Kumar, District Magistrate, Bijnor, said, "We assured the villagers that the case would be solved at the earliest. Police also shared details of their investigation and the villagers were satisfied with the progress." He claimed that people started coming out for voting around 1pm and around 52 percent villagers cast their votes when polling ended.
The body of the deceased, Bulaki Singh (55), was cremated on Tuesday, Mintoo said.