Indian man amputates finger after voting for wrong party

“I wanted to vote for elephant but it went to flower,” Kumar says on one video. (videograb)
Updated 20 April 2019

Indian man amputates finger after voting for wrong party

  • “I wanted to vote for elephant but it went to flower,” Kumar says on one video, adding that he had not been pressured to cast his ballot for a particular party
  • The lotus is the symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party while the Bahujan Samaj Party, part of an alliance fighting Modi in the northern state, uses the elephant

NEW DELHI: An Indian man chopped off his index finger in desperation after voting for the wrong party in the country’s national election.
Pawan Kumar became confused by the symbols on the electronic voting machine and voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party instead of its regional rival in Uttar Pradesh state on Thursday, his brother told AFP.
Distraught, the 25-year-old Kumar went home and chopped off his finger with a meat cleaver.
Even though votes are cast electronically at polling stations, the index finger of every voter is marked with indelible ink after they cast ballots, to make sure they do not vote again.
“He was very happy that he was voting for the first time ever,” Kumar’s brother Kailash Chandra told AFP by phone.
“But once he realized his mistake, he was so distraught that he chopped off his inked finger.”
“Every time he saw his ink-marked finger, he felt angry.”
Chandra said the family rushed Kumar to the hospital, and videos circulating online showed the first-time voter sporting a bandaged hand standing over the butcher’s knife outside a toilet.
“I wanted to vote for elephant but it went to flower,” Kumar says on one video, adding that he had not been pressured to cast his ballot for a particular party.
The lotus is the symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party while the Bahujan Samaj Party, part of an alliance fighting Modi in the northern state, uses the elephant. The party symbol is used on voting machines along with the candidate’s photographs.
Thursday was the second day of India’s marathon election which started on April 11 and runs through to May 19.


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.