Bogus voting: Criminal case filed against 3 CPM workers in Kerala

Kasaragod Fake Vote
A woman allegedly casting bogus vote in Pilathara.

Kannur: The Kerala Police have filed a case against three CPM workers, including a panchayat member, for casting bogus votes in Kannur district during the recently held Lok Sabha polls in the state. The incident was reported at the polling booth number 19 at the UP school Pilathara in Kannur district which is part of the Kasaragod constituency.

The case was filed against Cheruthazham panchayat member Saleena, former panchayat member Sumayya and Padmini as per the IPC sections 171 C, 171 D and 171 F.

Kerala's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena had earlier said that bogus voting had taken place in the Kasaragod constituency. A probe by Kannur district collector had confirmed this. The CEO said that he would ask the Election Commission to cancel the panchayat membership of Saleena.

He also made it clear that those involved in bogus voting would be charged with IPC sections 171 C, D and F that will attract a jail term of one year and fine. These sections remark on excercising undue influence at elections, personation at elections and punishment for excercising undue influence and personation in elections thereof respectively. They are accused of impersonation and denying other people's rights using influence.

Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate KP Satheesh Chandran's booth agent Rajesh Marangattu helped in bogus voting at Pilathara, the CEO said. Sumayya was the substitute booth agent for Rajesh. A probe will be held into his role too, the CEO added.

Other allegations

The state has been witnessing a series of accusations and counter accusations on bogus voting after the elections held on May 23.

With CPM already in the dock for bogus voting in the Lok Sabha elections, reports have surfaced that police association chiefs hijacked the postal votes of police personnel for the party. Allegedly, a majority of the ballot papers were seized by the police association chiefs for bogus voting. Those who refused to oblige were prevented from excercising their franchise. Around half lakh police personnel excercised the postal ballot in the elections conducted on May 23. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran had complained to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Kerala in writing, who sought an explanation from the DGP.

Meanwhile, the CPM has released visuals in which the party accused five persons for voting than once at Pamburuthy school in Thaliparambu, Kannur. According to the CPM, the bogus voters were Muslim League workers. In the complaint filed over the Muslim League workers allegedly casting bogus votes at Puthiyangadi, two voters have been served notice by the District Collector summoning them.

On Tuesday, CPM also alleged that UDF activists had cast the votes of 28 non-resident Keralites in the Pamburuthy school. The charge was made by CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who also released a list of the 28 names. According to Kodiyeri, the bogus votes were cast in booth no: 166 of the school.

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