Tight security ahead of first phase polls in northeastApril 15th, 2009 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS
Guwahati, April 15 (IANS) The stage is all set for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections Thursday with 10 of the 24 parliamentary constituencies in the northeast going to the polls amid heavy security arrangements, officials said.
“Polling personnel along with materials have already reached their respective polling centres and we are hopeful of a free and fair election,” an Election Commission official said.
Elections in the first phase would be held in three parliamentary seats of Silchar, Karimganj, and Autonomous District in Assam; two seats each in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya; and one seat each in Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram.
An estimated 7.45 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the first phase elections in the northeast.
There were incidents of violence in the run-up to the elections in Assam and Manipur with militants triggering explosions and attacking trains, besides ambushing security personnel, in which about 15 people were killed and more than 100 injured.
“We are particularly worried about elections in the Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts due to rebel threats. We have already deployed adequate security forces to deal with any kind of situation,” Assam police chief G.M. Srivastava said.
In Manipur, security forces have fanned out to vulnerable areas to ensure militants are not able to sabotage the elections.
“Security measures have been tightened and deployments made according to the Election Commission guidelines,” said Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
Security threat in Mizoram, Nagaland, and Meghalaya is comparatively less than Assam and Manipur.
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