The Spanish national police on Sunday entered polling stations in order to seize ballot boxes and voting papers as the Catalonia’s disputed independence vote that was declared illegal by the country’s constitutional court turned into chaotic affair. In the town of Girona, where the regional President Carles Puigdemont was due to vote, the police smashed their way into a polling station by breaking a glass window, reports CNN.

So far, the regional authorities have confirmed that at least 337 people have been wounded by national police which was sent by the government to shut down polling stations. When people tried to vote in the referendum, they received rubber bullets fired by the police. Spain’s Interior Ministry said nine members of the national police force and two members of the Civil Guard had been injured in scuffles, CNN reported. “Police are confiscating ballot boxes to respect the judicial mandate and the law regarding the illegal referendum,” Spain’s Interior Ministry tweeted.

As per news agencies, the ballot papers contain just one question: “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?” There are two boxes: Yes or No. The lines of Guardia Civil tried to keep out the voters from entering polling stations in Barcelona. During the period proceeding of this notable event, the national authorities have seized the ballot papers, voters list and campaign material. There are thousands of extra police surrounding the region to prevent the people from voting.

The  police have arrested the high-ranking officials of Catalonia involved in organizing the referendum.In the past few days, authorities blocked the use of a voting location app and seized vote-counting software, CNN reported. Albiet Madrid’s opposition, Puigdemont, who called the referendum in June, urged the voters on Sunday to go to the polls. 

First Published | 1 October 2017 7:10 PM
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