In Lingagiri, it didn’t take long to tally the results of the recently concluded panchayat elections. On January 31 this year, a sum total of four people voted in this remote village in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. The polling booth opened on time, the polling officers were present, and then the force arrived.
Pujari Rajamma, 35, was combing her hair in her courtyard. “I was getting ready to walk down to the polling office, when the uniformed men stormed in,” she said. “They checked my fingers for the voting mark.” When they didn’t find it, they beat her with sticks. The bruises are still visible on Rajamma’s back; she can barely move her swollen left arm.