Bastar votes amid IEDs and Maoist threats: ‘How many fingers can dadalog chop off?’

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Dantewada | Updated: November 13, 2018 9:31:20 am

Outside a polling booth in Madenda. (Express photo by Dipankar Ghose)

As he watched CRPF personnel, on bikes and on foot, manning the road in front of the polling station, his hands were clasped tightly behind his back. Hidden in that tight ball that his hands had become, is the index finger on his right hand. On the tip of that index finger is a small smidgeon of blue ink.

The man cannot be named for it is a matter of life and death. He will try not to unclasp his hands for the next two days because the colour on the tip of his index finger is also a matter of life and death. For he is the voter of Madenda.

In Aranpur sector of Dantewada, Madenda is 6 km away from Neelavaya, where a DD cameraperson, and three other Chhattisgarh Police personnel were killed in a Maoist attack in the run-up to elections.

Also read | Express Fact Check: In Chhattisgarh polls first phase, a history of swinging fortunes

For close to two months, the voter from Madenda has had routine visits from the Maoists to the village, warning them against casting their ballot. “The dadalog come often and told us that if we voted, there would be repercussions. They told us that if they found the ink on the tip…

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