Alleged BJP man who plotted to suppress votes in UP’s Sambhal was arrested days before polls: Report


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Friday reported that it had obtained video evidence of an alleged Bharatiya Janata Party worker plotting to intimidate voters in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal constituency during the Lok Sabha elections.

The Australian national broadcaster said that it had independently verified the footage showing the alleged BJP worker, identified as Bhuvnesh Kumar, “outlining several tactics aimed at slowing down the vote” in Sambhal. Polling in the constituency took place on May 7.

It added that the video’s metadata dated back months before the day of polling.

“The [polling] agent will challenge the voter by accusing him of voting on forged documents,” the alleged BJP worker is seen purportedly saying in the video. “Do not use violence, no use of firearms and any other weapon, don’t physically assault anyone. You just need to create a fake scene so there will be chaos, so women will stop coming to polling station.”

“This is one way to ensure low turnout,” he says before instructing the persons he is addressing to bribe police officers deployed at the polling booths in Sambhal. “You also need to meet them the day before and give them money as per their position, 500 [rupees] for officials and 100 [rupees] for juniors.”

“Keep money in their pocket saying this is for tea only, not for anything else,” Kumar is purportedly seen saying.

Kumar was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police days before May 7 “under a section of law aimed at preventing the disturbance of peace”, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

On May 10, Scroll had reported on allegations that the Uttar Pradesh police stormed booths, snatched identity cards and beat up voters in Sambhal on the polling day. The attacks were reported from Muslim-majority villages that voted overwhelmingly for the Opposition Samajwadi Party in the 2022 Assembly polls.

The Samajwadi Party had won the Sambhal parliamentary seat by 1.7 lakh votes in 2019.


Also read: In Sambhal, Muslims allege UP police stormed booths, snatched IDs and beat up voters on polling day




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