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People trek long distances to cast vote in Pir Panjal

Nomadic couple travel 25 km to exercise franchise
12:59 AM May 26, 2024 IST | Sumit Bhargav
people trek long distances to cast vote in pir panjal

Rajouri, May 25:   Setting a trademark of a healthy democracy and participation of every individual, a nomadic couple from the remote Hubi village of Rajouri trekked 25 km to and fro to the polling station to cast their vote.


Muhammad Hussain and his wife Saleema Akhter belong to the tribal Gujjar community and are residents of Hubi village of Kotranka, presently putting up at Madaani Aala Dhok of Kesari Hill. Hussain’s family migrates towards the upper reaches of the area during the summer season and stays for almost five to six months in their seasonal houses.


On Saturday, the husband-wife duo started their journey at around 6 am and trekked for almost 12.5 km to reach their polling station established in Hubi village.


The duo, after casting their vote, resumed their journey back to their seasonal houses, dhok.


“We started our return journey at 3 pm and will reach our dhok at around 8 pm,” Hussain said. “It will take us almost 5 hours to return to our dhok while coming down it took us around 4 hours.”


“We came to cast our vote as it is a democratic responsibility of every individual,” Hussain said.


He said that his two children stayed at the dhok and were not in the age group of voting else he would have brought them along.


People in the Poonch and Rajouri districts of the Pir Panjal region came out to vote in large numbers braving hot weather.

Officials said that stringent security measures were in place, creating a conducive environment for voters to cast their vote without fear or intimidation.

They said that at every polling station, assured minimum facilities including water, electricity, toilet, and ramp were made available.

“Even wheelchairs and volunteers were provided as and when required. The effort was made to give a better experience to the voter,” the officials said.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Poonch Yasin Muhammad Choudhary conducted an extensive tour of the polling stations across all three assembly constituencies.

He also visited the Qasba polling station which lies across the Line of Control (LoC) fence to ensure assured minim facilities.

Additionally, to ensure inclusive voting, pink polling stations, polling stations for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and youth polling stations were also established.

Green polling stations were also set up to spread the message about environmental concerns.

The DC Poonch, who is also the District Election Officer (DEO) Poonch congratulated all the voters and thanked all those voters who came in large numbers to cast their votes.

He also appreciated the work done by all the polling personnel including security personnel deployed in the election process, Police officers, and Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) for their service in conducting elections successfully in the district.

In the Rajouri district, four out of the five assembly constituencies voted in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, the polling parties with their EVMs have started reaching the EVM selection centre.

The officials said that all the polling parties were expected to reach the centres by Saturday midnight.