BSF personnel, voters 'engage in scuffle'

The personnel of Border Security Force (BSF) and voters allegedly engaged in a scuffle outside a polling station in Arai Malkan village of Poonch’s Mandi on Thursday, after an altercation took place between them.

The altercation took place in the afternoon hours, when some locals alleged that the BSF personnel deployed on election duty were “pressurizing them to vote for a specific party”.

Reports said that a scuffle followed the altercation and the entire area was gripped by panic and chaos.

Later, concerned magistrates and police officers reached the spot and pacified the situation.

Official sources said that in the incident a BSF inspector and a local villager also sustained minor injuries. They were taken to a local hospital, where they are under treatment, sources said.

“Authorities should probe the matter as the security forces should remain neutral. They (forces) should not side with a particular party,” local sarpanch Mohammad Aslam Malik said.

A BSF officer, wishing anonymity, said that the altercation took place after some BSF personnel asked three local men to stand in queue to cast their vote.

DIG police and other senior officers of administration also visited the spot to inquire into the matter, officials said.