In a bizarre incident, the district administration carried out a flag march with bulldozers ahead of the third and the final phase of panchayat polls in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district on Friday.
This was to warn the people to hold the elections peacefully, failing which their houses would be demolished, sources privy of the development told IANS.
As part of the measures taken to ensure free and fair polls, the administration not only carried a flag march of bulldozers but bulldozers were parked at several police stations, especially those considered highly sensitive areas in the district.
During the flag march, the administration also gave clear instruction that anyone found creating disturbance in election will be punished and bulldozer will be run over on houses.
“After violence at several polling centres during the first phase of election, people are worried. Flag march of bulldozers was carried out to send a message to miscreants that they will bear harsh punishment if they try to create violence this time. This step will encourage people to step out to vote for their favorable candidates,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
Notably, during the first phase of panchayat elections on June 25, violence had occurred in several polling centres in Morena district. For instance, a group of armed miscreants had attacked poll duty officers at a polling booth in Madanvar village and snatched away two ballot boxes and burnt ballot papers in the forest area.
Following which, Bada Malhara police had registered a case against all the persons involved in the crime and arrested eight accused. While the vote counting was underway at the polling station, miscreants carrying sticks forcefully entered the polling booth and beat up the polling party with sticks.
They took away two ballot boxes while ballot papers were set on fire in the forest. As soon as the information was received, SDM Vikas Kumar Anand, Returning Officer and Tehsildar Kamlesh Kumar Kushwaha, SDOP RR Sahu, station incharge reached with heavy police force and made a Panchnama of the burnt ballot papers.