Volume 2 Issue 9 - May 01, 2004

Protest outside EC office; several activists detained

DNIS News Network -- Several activists from Disabled Rights Group (DRG) were detained while protesting outside the Election Commission office on April 15. The activists were demanding Braille script for EVMs and ramps to provide entry into the polling booths.

Picture of protesters outside the Election Commissioner's office.

About 400 disabled rights activists protested in front of Jantar Mantar and then moved on to the Election Commission Office. The Delhi Police officials tried to prevent them from meeting the Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy at his office in Nirvachan Sadan and resorted to force to disperse the gathering. Several protestors were detained when they blocked the road and stopped traffic movement for about 45 minutes.

Election Commission officials were unmoved by the demonstration and refused to meet the protestors to hear their plea. However, after much persuasion, a delegation of activists finally managed to hand over the memorandum to an official, who promised to pass it to Mr. Krishnamurthy. The demonstrations continued late into the afternoon even as the police tried forcefully to pack the disabled in their vehicles.

Meanwhile DRG convener, Javed Abidi, continued his fast unto death for the second consecutive day against the EC's " apathetic attitude" to polling station access for disabled voters.

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