Going by reports prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an independent election watchdog, affidavits of the 1,266 of the 1,279 candidates contesting in the first phase of the on-going election which it could analyse, as many as 359 candidates had declared criminal cases against them. Of them, 146 had declared in their affidavits that there were ‘serious’ criminal cases against them, while the others had ‘ordinary’ criminals. It meant that more than 28 per cent of the candidates who had contested in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election had criminal cases against them. Likewise, ADR analysis for the first phase also revealed that while at least 12 candidates had declared convicted cases against themselves, 10 candidates had declared cases related to murder against themselves and 25 candidates had cases related to attempt to murder. At least four candidates in the first phase had declared having cases related to kidnapping for ransom, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage registered against them. As many as 16 candidates in the first phase had declared cases related to crime against women such as rape, assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty against them, while 12 candidates had declared cases related to hate speech. ADR found that 251 candidate had declared that they are facing criminal cases. This is 16 per cent of the total. Of these 251 candidates, altogether 167 had serious criminal charges. In the third phase of election that is taking place on April 23, there are altogether 1,612 candidates, of which ADR had analysed 1,594 affidavits to conclude that as many as 340 of them had declared criminal cases against them. This comes to a little over 21 per cent of the total number of candidates. Putting the three phases together, at least 950 candidates out of 4450 whose affidavits have been analysed by ADR have criminal cases pending against them.

Assam is not lagging behind on this count. An analysis of affidavits has shown that eight of the 54 candidates in the third phase have criminal cases against them. Prominent among them are two sitting MPs – Naba Kumar Sarania of Kokrajhar and Maulana Badruddin Ajmal of Dhubri. While Sarania, a former ULFA leader once very close to Paresh Barua, has several cases under Sections 120(B), 503, 505, 506, 153(A), 511, 396, 364, 417, 302 and 201 the IPC, the Arms Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, these include crimes like murder, dacoity-cum-murder, cheating, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, promoting enmity between group, false statement, disappearance of evidence, etc. Ajmal has seven cases. These include a defamation case, one related to threatening to kill a journalist, one allegedly instigating communal sentiments, and so on. Rafiqul Islam, who is Ajmal’s candidate for Barpeta has a case under Sections 120(B) and 123 of the IPC in the SOU in Guwahati, with allegations of trying to destabilize the state by causing violence with the help of anti-national organisations. The second case against him is in Dispur PS under Sections 222 and 225(B) of the IPC, of trying to resist or obstruct lawful apprehension or escape. Another prominent candidate in the third phase is Abu Taher Bepari, the Congress candidate for Dhubri; the case against him is registered under Sections 294, 342 and 506 of the IPC, relating to alleged wrongful confinement, abuse and criminal intimidation. Kumar Deepak Das of the AGP, the common candidate of the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance for Barpeta too has a defamation case under Sections 500 and 501 of the IPC. The other three candidates in the third phase who have criminal cases pending against them are Manoj Sarma – who is Mamata Banerjee’s AITC for Guwahati, Sadek Ali of RPI for Guwahati and Uttam Kumar Ray – and Independent candidate for Dhubri.

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method