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Haryana: Violence mars polling in Mewat's three seats

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The Times Of India
22nd October, 2019 07:13 IST

Gurgaon: Assembly elections in the three constituencies of Muslim-dominated Mewat district, officially known as Nuh —Punhana, Nuh and Ferozepur-Jhirka — were marked by several incidents of violence on Monday, mostly involving BJP and Congress workers.

“Around five cases have come up where we have received complaints from both the sides. Once the medical reports of the victims come in, we are likely to file FIRs and take action accordingly,” said Nuh police public relations officer Sunil. Mewat SP Sangeeta Kalia did not respond to calls and messages.

In Malhaka village of Ferozepur-Jhirka, where BJP’s Naseem Ahmed is up against Congress’s Mamman Khan, a fight between supporters of the parties turned ugly and ended in gunshots in which five people, including a woman, were injured. The woman is in a critical condition.

Many people said BJP has mobilised substantial support in the region in this election by bringing on board the ‘right’ candidate. “We will vote for Naseem Ahmed. He has a clean image and has certainly upped BJP’s chances,” said Sher Mohammad, the sarpanch of Nasirbas village.

In Nuh constituency, minutes after Khera village elders told TOI that no violence has ever broken out there, Congress and BJP factions started quarrelling in one of the polling booths over proxy votes. While one of the groups climbed to the roof of the school that was being used as the booth, the other ran outside the campus. Soon after, the men on the rooftop started throwing the bricks on the people standing below.

As officers on election duty, cops and this correspondent ran for cover, the fight escalated. The other group went to the roof as well. In the commotion, TOI’s car and the driver were also hit with a brick. Many people received injuries and the fight was brought under control only after around 25 minutes.

BJP candidate Zakir Hussain, the incumbent MLA, is pitted against Congress nominee Aftab Ahmed in Nuh.

Similar incidents of violence were reported from Ghasera and Satputiaka villages too.

BJP spokesperson Raman Malik said, “The people instigating violence are the ones who have played communal politics since the time of Partition. Sometimes there are people who behave in a certain way and it has to be reciprocated. The law also gives the person a right to defend.”

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