- Villagers protest ‘insult’ to MLA Anil Chikkamadu
- Miffed tribals shy away from Polling Booths
Hunsur, Dec.5 (OSR)- Hunsur Town Police resorted to lathi charge at Karigowdana Beedhi to disperse JD(S) and Congress party workers who were gathered in groups for last-minute canvassing. Section 144 was imposed around all Polling Booths where assembling of more than five persons in a particular place is banned.
As the polling began in Hunsur, Police monitoring the Booths found a group of Congress and JD(S) workers indulging in last-minute canvassing at Karigowdana Beedhi Booth.
Both the party members were seen exchanging expletives and the Police asked them to leave the place to prevent a law and order problem. The party workers did not heed to Police orders and the Police resorted to lathi charge.
MLA ‘insulted’: At Dodda Ramenahalli, villagers staged protest against Police officials as a Police Inspector allegedly insulted H.D. Kote MLA Anil Chikkamadu.
The MLA visited the village to cast his vote for Hunsur Assembly by-polls and according to the protesters, a Police Inspector stopped the MLA and insulted him by calling in singular. Learning about the incident, irate villagers blocked Hassan-Mysuru Road and demanded the Police to apologise.
Reports said that the MLA had come to the Booth and Dodda Ramenahalli is his village where his family and his elders still stay. As the MLA came to the Booth, youths surrounded him. This was observed by a Police Inspector who asked the MLA and the youths to move away from the Booth as Section 144 was in place.
As the MLA and the youth did not move, the Inspector allegedly insulted the MLA by calling in singular. Irked by this, villagers and youths staged a protest and demanded immediate apology from the Police and also demanded the presence of Deputy Commissioner to break the deadlock. Attempts by the Police constables and village elders to pacify the protesters proved futile and Additional SP P.V. Sneha had to intervene and conduct a peace meeting to diffuse the tension.
Hunsur is predominantly a tribal area that is dominated by many tribal haadis attached to Nagarahole National Park, Hanagodu, Veeranahosahalli and Madapura. Tribals like Jenu Kuruba, Betta Kuruba, Soliga, Yerava and Hakki-Pikki live here.
Today’s polling in the morning witnessed less number of tribals at Polling Booths. Though the District Administration had made special arrangements to transport the tribals in vehicles, forest men and women preferred to stay indoors.
There are nearly 14,600 tribals spread across 54 hamlets in the constituency and they are distributed across 23 Polling Booths. The tribals are upset that the burning matter of forest rights that is critical to their existence and way of life, and other tribal-related issues, were not raised during the campaigning for the Hunsur by-election.
Probably for the first time, brand-new wheelchairs were placed in front of all Polling Booths in Hunsur and even their polythene covers were not removed. The wheelchairs were used to ferry disabled and elderly voters to the polling counter from the Polling Booth gate and back.
All these years, wheelchairs were procured from Government Hospitals and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and most of them used to be in a rusted condition. This time, however, new wheelchairs were procured.