Reports from UP’s Sambhal claim that several members of the Muslim community prevented from exercising their vote

Videos have emerged of resident Muslims claiming they were lathi charged at the polling booths. Samajwadi Party, which has won several times in the region, has also supported this claim.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal, harrowing news has been coming in of Muslim women being turned away from voting. A video has even surfaced of a voter saying that the police had lathi-charged Muslims who turned up to vote. Sambhal went to vote in the third phase of the country’s 18th Lok Sabha elections. Elderly men and women and youth from the Muslim community have shown minor injuries where they claim were from the police force used against them when they went to vote.

Sambhal has long been a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party, whose Muslim candidate Shafiqur Rahman Barq was a five-time MP in the constituency. His grandson, now fighting on the same seat after his death, Zia ur Rahman Barq was also witnessed on camera raising allegations against the police of preventing Muslims residents of Sambhal from exercising their rights to vote.

In another video, locals have claimed that the police snatched their ‘parchi’, slips, and also used the lathi on them as they went to vote. One youth also stated that he was hit on his face, very close to his eye.

The Samajwadi Party’s official X account also posted about Muslim voters being denied the right to vote. Muslims constitute over 77% of Sambhal’s population. As per the Indian government’s census of 2011, 77.67 % of city population follow Islam. Following this, the second largest community is the Jatav community at 2.30 lakhs, Yadavs at 1.40 lakh, Sainis at 1.15 lakh, and 1.7 lakh of the population consists of upper castes.

Meanwhile, the Sambhal police have alleged that they have uncovered a racket of 50 people trying to vote on the basis of fake voter identity cards.


Local news outlet UPTak has stated that at a booth in Sambhal, BJP candidate Parmeshwar Lal Saini caught a Muslim person and accused him of casting fake vote for the BJP candidate. There was a heated argument between the BJP candidate and the person who had come to cast fake votes for the BJP supporters. Parmeshwar Lal Saini is contesting once again for the seat in Sambhal, he had lost last time to SP’s Shafiqur Rahman Barq.

Interestingly, the Deccan Herald reported on May 2nd, that the Lucknow police had detained a BJP official for making a video advising people in Sambhal to make a ruckus at the booths in Sambhal. The BJP leader, Bhuvanesh Varshneya, had reportedly told party workers to make a ruckus outside the ballot booth when they saw a large number of women to prevent them from voting. He was also heard telling the party workers to ‘bribe’ the police, “Give the cops between Rs 100 to Rs 500 for refreshment. Keep an eye on the turnout in opposition dominated booths.” The report also claimed that the police detained Varshney, however, the video had gone viral in the area.



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