Elections

BJP Leader Kidnapped, Interference In Polls By Insurgents Will Not Be Tolerated: Arunachal CEO

Sain’s assertion came following abduction of the BJP leader by insurgents in Longding district and the alleged use of underground elements by a poll contestant in the same district which falls under the Arunachal East Lok Sabha seat.

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BJP leader kidnapped in Arunachal Pradesh
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Hours after a BJP leader was kidnapped in Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pawan Kumar Sain on Wednesday said no interference in the poll process by underground elements will be tolerated and stringent action will be initiated against such activities.

Sain’s assertion came following abduction of the BJP leader by insurgents in Longding district and the alleged use of underground elements by a poll contestant in the same district which falls under the Arunachal East Lok Sabha seat.

Inspector General of Police (Law & Order) Chukhu Apa acknowledged the abduction and said that police and paramilitary forces are on the job to rescue the person.

The IGP, however, refused to provide details of the incident.

Longding Deputy Commissioner Bekir Nyorak and Superintendent of Police Dekio Gumja declined to speak.

The northeastern state, which has two Lok Sabha seats, will hold the elections to the parliamentary and 60-member assembly simultaneously on April 19. However, out of the total 60, the ruling BJP already won ten unopposed.

“We have convened a high-level security meeting today to discuss the incident and the deputy commissioners of Longding and Tirap were directed to ensure that there should not be any interference in the poll process by any underground groups,” the CEO told a press conference here.

Assam Rifles and other paramilitary forces have been asked to intensify security measures, Sain said.

Naga insurgents are active in three eastern districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding and they indulge in abduction, extortion and other anti-social activities. In the past few years, several cadres of various insurgent groups have been arrested in the region.

When his attention was drawn to allegations that a candidate in Longding was using insurgents who issued letters to villagers directing them to support the contestant, Sain said if any candidate is found indulging in such activities, the Election Commission would disqualify him.

“A special platoon of central armed police force has reached Longding during the day and already carried out area domination. Around 13,176 personnel of CAPF and state police are working on the ground to conduct peaceful polling in the state,” the CEO said.

He added that since the announcement of polls, as many as 36 law and order incidents have been registered where one person died and another 33 injured.

Sain said that out of the total 2,226 polling stations in the state, 480 polling booths fall under shadow areas, while 588 booths have been identified as critical and 443 as vulnerable.

The official added that as many as 87 inter-state nakas are operational in the state to thwart anti-social elements from outside from trying to disrupt polling.

“We will ensure a free and fair polling without any violence and will not tolerate any violation of model code of conduct. We have already suspended an additional deputy commissioner and a senior government official for favouring candidates,” he said.

The CEO said that on April 15, polling parties were airlifted to four polling stations in remote Kra-Daddi district, while five more groups went to various distant regions on Tuesday.

Out of the total 2,226 polling stations in the state, 228 could be reached only on foot.

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