Wednesday, January 29, 2020

70-year old George Victor denied right to vote, name missing from voters’ list

Pallavi Sareen

Jammu, Apr 11:

While the first phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections in Jammu & Kashmir is underway, the name of George Victor, a 70-year old retired Government employee is missing from the voters’ list at a polling booth in Delhi Public School, Jammu where he has been voting traditionally.

A Government employee who retired from the Education Department in 2008, George Victor said he felt ‘saddened’ that he won’t be able to exercise his constitutional right to vote despite coming to the polling station straight from the hospital.

George’s wife, Ruhi, as well as his two sons, had cast their vote in the same polling station but his name was not on the voters’ list. Despite having a valid Voter ID card issued by the Election Commission of India in 2011, George was denied his right to vote.

Voter slip of his wife, Ruhi

When he asked the Returning Officer regarding the same, he was told, “If your name is not on the list, there is nothing we can do.”

Born in 1950, George Victor lives in Christian Colony and had come to the polling station with his Aadhar Card and Pan card to cast his vote despite being sick.

“I was in the hospital. My wife asked me to come vote despite being sick but finding my name missing from the list has worsened my health. I am lucky I did not have a heart ailment,” George Victor said.

George said that he has voted in every election and something like this had never happened before. Belonging to a minority community in the state as well as the country, he believed that safeguarding their rights was a duty of the government.

He said, “This is not something a senior citizen should have to face. If my wife’s name is on the list and I am listed there as her husband, how is it possible that my name is not there? I am alive and I am a citizen of this country. This instance makes me feel so hopeless.”

Shailendra Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer, J&K said, “I’d require complete detail of the elector to find out reasons for his deletion. Suo Moto deletion don’t take place unless  it is applied for deletion or his name is found at two places in that case name at one place gets deleted.”

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