TMC cadres knock every door, Kamduni turns out reluctantly

Only 250-odd Kamduni voters exercised their franchise in the panchayat polls Friday despite a poll boycott call given by a section of villagers who are protesting against the "shoddy" probe in the rape and murder of a 20-year-old college girl.

These villagers turned up at Kamduni Free Primary School to cast their votes only after ruling Trinamool Congress cadres late Thursday night went door to door, asking them to vote. They were told not to boycott the poll.

"Out of the total 952 voters (at Kamduni), 265 turned up. Of them, 151 were men and 114 women voters," said polling officer Gaur Mohan Banerjee.

The impact of the poll boycott call was, however, negligible in the neighbouring two villages, where the turnout was 62.58 and 57.8 per cent.

"I heard about people protesting the rape and staying away from voting. I am also affected by the incident, but I think we should exercise our democratic rights," said Chandradhar Mondal who was at a polling booth, located nearly a kilometre away from the victim's house, at 7.20 am.

At the booth, there was no presence of any CPM or Congress polling agent.

Basubi Naskar, 62, who also cast his vote, said the villagers had earlier decided not to vote, but after the last night's visit by the Trinamool cadres, they had a second thought about it.

"There were about a dozen of Trinamool cadres who came to our house in the night, handed over the voters' slips, and asked us to vote. I thought something bad could happen to me if I didn't vote. So I have come to vote," she said.

Among those who voted was Mausumi Naskar. She had taken part in the anti-rape protest, but came out to vote. "Trinamool youths came to our place last night and told us to vote," she said.

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