Dalits in India face attacks and intimidation in polls, fear more violence to come (Minority Rights Group International)
"In the last two phases of voting NCDHR’s National Dalit Election Watch (NDEW) has recorded 263 incidents of election violence against Dalits, formerly known as ‘untouchables’ in India. The violence manifests in several forms with Dalits being threatened, abused and prevented from voting and also violently attacked after the polls.
"According to NDEW the largest number of incidents was recorded in Bihar, which so far has been one of the areas worst affected by post election violence. In one horrific incident on 23 April, 74 houses in Musahar (Dalit) Tola in Ranti Panchayat (Madhubani District of Bihar), housing over 300 people, were burnt down. Another 70 houses were looted.
"In Andhra Pradesh in Guntur district on the same day a ‘social boycott’ was imposed on a village barring Dalits from shopping or accessing any village services.
"Before elections Dalit communities are threatened and ordered not to vote or vote for candidates against their choice. On some occasions they have found their names deleted from voting lists and/or their proof of identity has not been accepted at the polling station preventing them from voting.
"In Orissa, which saw a spate of attacks against Dalit Christians throughout 2008, politicians ‘threatened to cut off people’s hands, burn houses, and chase them out of the village, if they did not vote as instructed,’ NDEW reports."
Dalits harassed, stopped from casting vote (Hindustan Times, June 27, 2009):
"A just-released report has claimed that 499 Dalits from 264 constituencies across 13 states were not allowed to cast their votes during the recently concluded 15th Lok Sabha polls."