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A tale of two indelible ink removals – TRPs for someone, matter of life for others

People in Maoist dominated areas fear that the terrorist will target them if they are seen with the mark of voting on their fingers.

The first phase of the voting for the Lok Sabha elections concluded today. The voting was largely peaceful, apart from some reports EVM problems which is usual in the large-scale elections that take place in India. Few dozen EVMs among the thousands used in the elections show problems, which are promptly replaced by poll officials. But those reports are used to attack the EVM by anti-EVM lobby, which includes a section of media, activists and some political parties. Now, another issue has emerged in respect of the elections.

Today reports emerged that some people were successful in removing the indelible ink applied on their fingers after voting. This semi-permanent ink is used to prevent multiple voting by the same person. During voting, this ink is applied on the finger of the voter, which lasts for several weeks.

Executive Editor of CNN-News18 Bhupendra Chaube said that he was successful in removing the ink from his finger by using nail polish remover. He also said that using a nail file, he was successful in removing the ink from his finger entirely. He also showed a tweet by Quint CEO Ritu Kapur, who also tried the same experiment, as proof that many other people were tweeting that the ink is removable.

Another woman, Sameeksha Khare also reported that she had removed her indelible ink, and coincidently she also works for the Quint. Soon, many people tried nail polish remover, and reported that the ink was removed.

Some media houses reported this phenomenon by saying that indelible ink was coming off from the fingers of voters, but the fact is it was not coming off automatically, it happened only after rubbing it with nail polish remover.

While for some the ability to remove the indelible ink became a source to gain TRP and attack the current government, for others it became a question of life and death. After casting their votes, voters in Bastar in Chhattisgarh were seen removing the ink from their fingers. They were doing this not to vote again, but to save their own lives. Maoist terrorists have called for boycott of the general elections, and people in Maoist dominated areas fear that the terrorist will target them if they are seen with the mark of voting on their fingers.

Before Chhattisgarh assembly elections last year, Maoists had warned that if anyone is seen with indelible ink on their fingers, that finger will be chopped off. That time also people had removed the ink marks for the same reason.

Naxal terrorists had triggered a powerful IED blast on 9th April, killing five people including BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi. Therefore, the threat of the left-wing terrorists are real, and people were removing the ink as a precautionary measure. This also shows how people in Maoist affected areas are committed to the Indian democracy, despite the campaign against it by both the Maoists and their overground supporters.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has ordered a probe into the reports that the ink is getting removed, and ordered district election officer to furnish a report.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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