Harassment of AAP's Polling agents by Delhi Police & Election Commission officials
This email was sent by an AAP Booth agent to AAP's legal team. It describes the situation AAP booth agents had to face at places on the election day.
I would like to bring in your notice of my experience as a polling agent of AAP on booth number 142 of Palam Constituency of Delhi (Polling Station-Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyala Palam Village)
I had reached at the mentioned polling station at around 7.20 a,m on 4th Dec'13 with the letter authorizing me as a polling agent of AAP ,issued by the Mr Ajay Rai (Election agent of AAP candidate Bhavana Gaur).The letter had signatures of both Mr Ajay Rai & Bhavana Gaur along with my name ,address & photograph .The Delhi Police Constables posted the gate asked me from which party I belong to .When I told them that I am from AAP ,they checked my form and told me that since my form doesn't have stamp of Mr Ajay Rai ,I cant enter inside the polling station .
I immediately rushed to the AAP election office of our constituency & informed Ms Bhavana Gaur about it .She made some calls & told me that no such stamp is required for any polling agent to get inside the polling station and that Delhi Police is not authorized to make any such checking of forms of Polling agents. I immediately went back to the polling station & told the same thing to the police officials posted there. Initially they simply ignored me but when I started raising my voice resulting in gathering of people standing around ,one of policeman told me to keep my tone down and checked my papers again and told me that I don't have zerox copies of "some" documents required to enter inside.He also said that Pan Card is not a valid identity Proof & he need to see my voter's ID card to allow me to get inside.
This time I lost my patience and started screaming that they are unnecessary harassing AAP polling agents and this is a clear conspiracy to keep us away from polling stations. By this time many people gathered at the gate ,seeing which this policeman took me inside the gate telling me that I should not talk to policemen in high tone and election commission officials will not let me in inside the polling booth as I don't have proper documents.As he began walking with me to the booth ,I could hear voices of his fellow policemen from behind "Bahut aawaz kar raha hai ye ...Daal ***** ko gaadi mein ".On the way he was telling me that this police force has come from "Outside" and they wont take a minute to shoot me .
When I reached inside the booth no 142 & showed my polling agent letter to the Presiding officer present there ,he told me since in their records they only have name of Mr Ajay Rai ,he wont allow me to sit in the booth .Only after I insisted that I have the letter signed by both the candidate and his election agent authorizing me to be present at the polling booth as their election agent ,he allowed me to sit inside.
By this time the initial formalities of mock polling for the polling agents was over which I could not see. I told the presiding officer to call up their control room and inform them about what has happened with me at the gate of polling station he replied me that he is responsible for what is happening inside the polling booth and that they have nothing to do with the policemen standing outside and that I should inform my candidate /Election control room on my own . I told him that it is the duty of Election Commission to organize free and fair elections then I how can he shrug off his responsibility to ensure that polling agents don't face any problem at entering polling station .He simply ignored my words but when I started raising my voice he took me outside the room where he along with Presiding officer of Booth no-143 told me repeatedly that there is no point of making noise and that they wont call up anybody in the election commission .When I keep on insisting the presiding officer of booth no 142 gave me his cell phone and asked me to dial a number of some Mr Ray which as per him was his senior .The number turned out to be invalid .When I told him to provide me another number he took back his phone and told me to call up whoever I want to on my own .I repeatedly told him that how could he expect me to carry my cell phone inside the polling booth on which he simply turned mum .
By this time I was sure that its a clear conspiracy of keeping AAP volunteers away from polling stations and both Delhi Police and EC people are doing their best for that . I decided not to leave the polling booth and wait for any flying sqad of EC or AAP candidate to visit it .When the "Sector Officer " Came there I narrated the whole incident to him but he simply walked away without answering me.
Somebody called Mr A K Bhardwaj (whose designation I don't know) came to the polling station along with one more person . The way he was checking the records and polling machine I thought he must be some concerned official from EC .When he was leaving the room I went out and told him that I am from AAP and I need to tell some important information .To My surprise he simply started walking away as if I was talking to somebody else.When I told him "Sir Please Listen" He said "Chalte Chalte Baat Kar " .I said "Sir but how can I leave my polling booth " .He replied "Abhi bhi tu booth ke Bahar hi Khada Hai " .I said "Sir but I can still see inside my polling booth " .On this he simply walked away .After that I didn't went out of my polling booth (even to use the washroom) till the time the voting machine was sealed .Later I came to know that policemen didn't allowed our volunteers to bring food for our polling agents .I didn't eat anything (not even a sip of water ) till the time I came out of the polling station as for me taking food from other polling agents was like becoming part of their party's corruption . The same thing has happened with many of our polling agents in the palam constituency .
While I managed to get inside the polling booth around,many of our polling agents were allowed to get in only around .In these circumstances the possibilities of bogus voting cannot be ruled out .
Please raise this matter with the chief election commissioner of Delhi .
Also despite my several requests of allowing me to wear plain white cap inside the polling booth ,I had not been allowed to do so by the presiding and sector officer.I told them that our party has taken special approval for it from the EC and they can verify the same by calling up their control room .But they were adamant on not allowing me to do the same.