Weeks before the announcement of the Assembly election schedule by the Election Commission, central armed police forces (CAPF) have started arriving in three poll-bound states of Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya, officials said on Monday.
Meghalaya's Chief Electoral Officer Frederick R Kharkongor said in Shillong that the state has sought deployment of 119 companies of CAPF for the polls, and 30 companies have already arrived in the state.
"There are 782 vulnerable polling stations and 402 have been identified as critical," he said.
In Nagaland also, a large number of CAPF already arrived and they were deployed in different districts.
In Agartala, Tripura Chief Electoral Officer Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao said that 50 companies of CAPF already arrived in Tripura and more 50 companies about to reach in the state.
Tripura Director General of Police Amitabh Ranjan also told IANS that 50 companies of CAPF have already arrived in the state and 50 more companies are reaching in two days.
"In addition to these, 100 more CAPF companies are expected in Tripura by January 20,"he added.
Election officials said that it is proposed to work in mission mode to conduct upcoming Assembly elections in the state with an aim of "Zero Poll Violence".
To hold the election violence free, a series of administrative and awareness steps are proposed to be taken over the next two months. The steps to be taken include sensitisation workshops to be held in all 60 Assembly constituencies involving political parties, workers and eminent citizens highlighting the negative effects of violence on the persons, families, society and overall image of the state.
"The flag/road marches by the CAPF shall start in advance to ensure confidence building among the political workers for campaigning and among the citizens to cast their votes freely without any fear.The security forces shall be deployed well before the poll process so that they get familiar with the locality. Local police should extend necessary cooperation to the CAPF," an election Commission statement said.
It said that the state police shall ensure all miscreants, trouble mongers, history sheeters are either kept in constant watch or bound under relevant sections of the CrPC.
Use of deterrent measures like web-casting of poll process, and videography outside the polling stations to keep miscreants at bay shall be ensured.
Micro level strategy will face the challenge of poll-related violence - every police station shall make their own strategy depending upon their respective ground level inputs to ensure 100 per cent violence free election.
The full Election Commission, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, would undertake a four-day visit to three northeastern states from January 11.
The CEC, accompanied by two Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel, and several senior officials would arrive in Tripura on January 11 and then would go to Shillong on January 12 and then to Nagaland on January 14. During their stay in the state capitals, the CEC and other two ECs would hold a series of meetings with senior officials to scrutinise the preparedness of the Assembly elections and give instructions to the state authorities to hold the election in a free, fair and transparent manner.
The EC would also meet all the political parties and would seek their opinions to hold the elections with the participation of all stakeholders.
After returning to Delhi, the Election Commission would likely announce the schedule of the election in three northeastern states, considering the Class 10 and 12 examinations of the Central Board of Secondary Education.
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