Hijab: Tension prevails at polling booth in TN

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Madurai, (UNI) Tension prevailed at a polling booth in Melur in this district for a brief period, when a BJP booth agent asked a Muslim woman voter to remove her ‘hijab’ to check her identity in the voters’ list, when the polling for Tamil Nadu urban local body election was progressing on Saturday afternoon.

The incident was reported at the polling booth located inside the Al-Ameen high school in ward number eight of the Melur Municipality, when a large number of Muslim women wearing hijabs were waiting to exercise their franchise.

The BJP booth agent Girirajan objected to Muslim woman voters covering their faces with hijabs, making it difficult to identify them and to prevent bogus voting.

‘How do we know their face? Can you match the picture of the voters’ list with that of the women electorates who come to vote?, Girirajan asked the polling officials.

The polling officials and booth agents of other Political parties, including the DMK and AIADMK did not agree with the BJP booth agent’s objection.

The Muslim women and men indulged in a heated argument with Girirajan resulting in a tense situation, following which the polling was disrupted for half-an-hour.

Police intervened and forcibly removed Girirajan from the booth. He was replaced by a woman agent of the BJP party.

Trouble erupted again, when Girirajan attempted to enter the booth raising slogans demanding that women voters should remove their hijabs to identify them.

It was alleged that some men attempted to attack Girirajan. Police swung into action and took him to the Melur police station for inquiry.

Additional police men were deployed at the polling booth to prevent further trouble.

Meanwhile, State Election Commissioner V.Palanikumar said voters could wear dresses as per their choice and action will be taken against those who object women with hijab exercising their franchise.

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