MADURAI/TIRUPPUR: A BJP booth agent was arrested in ward 8 of Melur municipality for trying to get a Muslim woman to remove her hijab to cross-check with the voter's list, despite the polling officials clarifying that she was already verified by them.
The district police registered a case against the booth agent, R Girirajan, for acting in a way that could entice communal riots and hurt religious sentiments. Girirajan was remanded to judicial custody till March 4 by Melur Judicial Magistrate.
Tension prevailed in the municipality as one of the Muslim women wearing a hijab and mask at the Al Amin High School was asked to remove the hijab, claiming that the particular voter did not match with the photo in the voter's list. Though police personnel deployed for the security intervened and explained to Girirajan that the photo in the voter's list was taken years ago for many of them and there could be significant differences, the agent disagreed and shouted inside the polling booth that bogus votes were being polled.
This disrupted the polling for 15 minutes, however, following the altercation, he was sent out of the polling booth. A report in this regard has also been sent to the Collector S Aneesh Sekhar.
Following the complaints from different party cadres, alleging that bogus votes were being polled in ward 17 of Thirumangalam, the polling was suspended by 4 pm and the election officials recommended for re-election in the ward.
A voter P Malliga from ward 1 of Palamedu was shocked to find out that her vote was already polled. She complained to the polling personnel and they assured to take action against the one who polled the bogus vote after verifying the CCTV footage. Meanwhile, Malliga was also allowed to cast her vote after proper scrutiny. Similar complaints were made from the corporation limit as well.
Meanwhile in Tiruppur, polling was temporarily stopped due to a protest as a female local official allegedly asked a Muslim voter to remove her hijab while voting in Dharapuram. Sources said she was told to remove it to confirm her identity, and this resulted in an argument since women who had arrived earlier were not asked to remove their hijabs.