Maoist menace dissuades villagers in Jharkhand from casting votes

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Latehar (Jharkhand), Dec 12 (ANI): The increasing Maoist menace in Saryu village of Jharkhand's Latehar district is dissuading villagers from casting their votes in the ongoing assembly elections.

Earlier on Wednesday, Maoists had set posters and banners of the candidates on fire and bombed their makeshift offices in Palamau district to protest against the ongoing polls.

The rebels recently damaged a school building and primary healthcare centre in Saryu village, which were likely to be used as police camps and polling booths.

Having no other building in the adjoining area, the polling booth for Saryu village was shifted to Banbirwa village, which is about 18 kilometres away. Polling in Saryu village is scheduled for December 18.

"They have shifted the polling booths far away and I do not know whether people would go to cast their votes or not. Those who are fit enough would go and the old and ailing would. Though voting is everybody's right but I do not know whether they will go or not I do not know about others. We have to think about our own lives. It all depends on the individual," said Razaq Miya, a local resident.

Voicing similar sentiments Mundrika Nayak, another resident, said that if the polling booth would have been near then they could have felt at least a bit safer to go and vote.

Of the 81 Assembly seats in all, polling for 51 has already been completed in the three previous phases.

Counting of votes and declaration of the results would take place on December 23. (ANI)

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