| Dayamani Barla
Ranchi, April 10: AAP candidate from Khunti Dayamani Barla today lodged a complaint against her rival Anosh Ekka with the districts returning officer, accusing the Jharkhand Party candidate of terrorising her supporters in collusion with rebels and seeking deferment of polls in the constituency.
She will lodge another complaint at the Election Commissions office in Ranchi tomorrow. Khunti, an ST reserved seat, goes to polls on April 17.
Ekka, who is already facing an FIR for travelling in a car with Rajkamal Gope (30), a PLFI member and murder accused, and another murder accused Jai Prakash Bhuiyan, on March 29, is allegedly taking help from banned rebel outfits to win the Lok Sabha elections.
At a news conference today, Barla further claimed that the Kolebira MLA was trying to scare away her supporters on the campaign trail and sought a probe into the matter.
On Wednesday, when my supporters were campaigning with a vehicle at Karra around 4pm, six suspected rebels, armed with guns, stopped them. Driver Javed Ansari was beaten black and blue while others were slapped. They also took pictures of my supporters on mobile phone and threatened to kill them if they are seen campaigning next time. In the past week, two such incidents happened with me, she claimed.
Speaking about the other incident, she claimed that on April 7, six of her supporters, including her husband Nelson Barla, were abducted by suspected Maoists at Veerbanki. After remaining in captivity for around 18 hours, they managed to escape.
They travelled some 40km to reach Khunti. There are 14 candidates in the fray, but only I am being singled out. My opponents are targeting me with the help of outlawed outfits and the corporates, she said.
The AAP leader has further requested the Election Commission to defer the polls in Khunti till adequate security arrangements were made and action taken against the Kolebira MLA.
Asked about the status of investigations against Ekka, Ranchi zone DIG Praveen Singh said: Instructions have already been issued to Khunti SP to conduct a quick probe and arrest the MLA and others if charges against them are proved to be true. District police have been given the liberty to report the matter to the Election Commission.
Khunti SP Anish Gupta said: Evidence gathered so far confirms that Ekka has some kind of ties with such elements (rebels). Investigations are on. Action will be taken against him on the basis of the probe report.
Top sources admitted that Ekka was hobnobbing with rebels and criminals besides threatening Barlas supporters. This is the tragic part of elections in Khunti seat. Candidates here take help from Naxalites to win. It is true that six supporters of Barla were detained by PLFI rebels, who seem to be supporting Ekka, said a senior police officer.