Media barred from entering polling booth near Jammu
Media persons were initially not allowed to enter a polling booth near here Monday while ballotting was on to fill four panchayat quota seats in the Jammu and Kashmir legislative council, journalists said.
In violation of relevant rules, media persons were barred from entering the Ranbir Singh Pura polling station where the Peoples' Democratic party (PDP) workers were protesting against "inadequate arrangements for polling" for elections to the legislative council seats.
The reporters from both print and electronic media - holding valid election duty cards - were not allowed inside the booth, 35 km from Jammu. The PDP workers were holding a protest there complaining about inadequate lighting arrangements inside the polling hall.
The journalists later called up the Jammu Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dilbagh Singh to "lodge report of violation of election rules by disallowing the media persons inside the polling booth".
"It was only after the IGP's intervention that media was allowed inside the polling hall after standing outside for over an hour," said Deepak Khajuria, a senior electronic media reporter.
Senior Superintendent of Police V.S. Sambyal agreed that it was wrong to stop the media persons, holding election duty cards, from going inside the polling station.