Additional security for Manipur re-poll


Imphal : The Election Commission of India will take additional security measures to ensure free and fair balloting in five hill districts of Manipur where re-polling is scheduled for Saturday.

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Re-polling in 34 polling booths in the five districts — Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Senapati, Chandel and Churachandpur — was ordered after the Jan 28 asssembly polls witnessed violence in these areas, leading to the killing of seven persons.

The Nagaland-based militant outfit NSCN-IM was blamed for the violence. It was alleged by various sections that Naga militants had interfered with the polls to help candidates of the Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF), which has put up 12 candidates in the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur.

“Security arrangements have been intensified in all the 34 polling booths for the polls on Saturday. On Jan 28, we deployed 10 to 20 security personnel in each polling booth. This time, we have been instructed to deploy at least 75 to 100 security personnel in each polling booth,” a source in the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer said.

“The polling personnel for the booths in Churachandpur left the state capital on Thursday, while the polling officials for the other four districts started moving today (Friday),” the source added.

Re-polling will be held in nine booths in Ukhrul district, eight booths each in Chandel and Senapati districts, in five booths in Churachandpur and in four booths in Tamenglong.

“We have requisitioned a helicopter at Imphal for movement of the polling persons and EVMs for the repolling and to be used in case of any emergency on Saturday,” the sources.

Polling will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.