UP Bypolls: 'Crowd Control,' Say Cops After Muslim Voters Allege Police Stopped Them From Voting

Suar MLA Abdullah Azam Khan has shared a video showing Muslim women claiming that they were denied entry into polling booths.

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New Delhi: Social media users from pockets of Rampur in Uttar Pradesh have claimed that Muslim voters are allegedly not being allowed inside booths where by-polls are taking place to elect a Lok Sabha MP. Police have acknowledged these complaints but told The Wire that it was part of “crowd control” and there was no “bias.” Locals and police have both said that the situation is calm now.

In a video that was purportedly uploaded from the Dariyal area of the Suar assembly constituency – close to the State Inter College polling booth – a man can be heard saying that he was prevented from reaching the booth and slapped by police.

The news outlet Millat Times has tweeted the video, also tweeting that the person who uploaded it has been taken into police custody. The Wire has not been able to independently confirm this.

Similar claims have been made from the Kotwali Tanda area of the Suar assembly constituency, from near the State Inter College booth.

Suar MLA Abdullah Azam Khan has shared multiple videos showing Muslims claiming that they were denied entry into polling booths. One man is heard saying police beat up someone.


In another video accessed by The Wire, Samajwadi Party candidate Aseem Raza is seen having a tiff with the police. He is heard stating that those coming in to cast votes should be allowed into booths and that no one should be stopped. 

The Wire reached out to the office of the Superintendent of Police in Rampur. Inspector Sharad, the Public Relations Officer, confirmed that such complaints have been made. He said that all “these complaints are being resolved.”

“There is no bias,” he stated.

Speaking about the videos on social media he stated that the police was merely “controlling the crowds.” 

The inspector also confirmed that police knew of the videos that are surfacing online with claims of police bias. However, he did not comment on whether police had taken anyone posting those videos into custody.

 He also denied claims of any physical force being used to stop people. 

By-polls are taking place across two crucial seats of Azamgarh and Rampur. The bypoll in Azamgarh is necessitated by Akhilesh Yadav vacating his Lok Sabha seat for an assembly seat. The Rampur seat was vacated by senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, also for a state assembly seat. Both Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats are considered bastions of the SP.

From Rampur, the BJP has fielded Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi, who recently joined the party, while the SP has fielded Asim Raja, The Mayawati-led BSP is not contesting from Rampur. 

Over 35 lakh people are estimated to cast their votes in the polls today. 

In the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 too, an allegation was made by the SP that Muslims were being prevented from casting their votes in the Rampur constituency. 

At the time, SP MP Azam Khan had said, “Several people were deprived of their voting rights. Police had beaten people of one community by entering their houses, even females were thrashed.”

In 2019, SP won the seat by a margin of 1.1 lakh votes, and recorded 52.7% vote share while the BJP recorded 42.3%.