Dave writes to Delhi for additional forces
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 12: Following the ban imposed by the UNLF on all election related activities, Governor Arvind Dave has sent a written statement to the Centre demanding additional security forces for ensuring a peaceful, free and fair 14th Lok Sabha elections in the State, disclosed an official source.

The source also informed that security forces which have been provided for the upcoming polls will be arriving here from April 15 onwards and further said that with the arrival of the new troops, the State Govt will not have any security problems in conducting the Lok Sabha polls peacefully.

Meanwhile, Election Commission of India will be sending its Deputy Election Commissioner Dr Noor Mohammad to the State on April 14 to take the opinion of all the political parties in connection with the upcoming polls following the threat made by various UG groups.

Sources also informed that a meeting with all the political parties would be held and opinions noted at the Old Secretariat Conference hall immediately after his arrival.

It also said that Dr Noor would be inspecting the preparations taken up by the State Govt for the Lok Sabha polls as well as the deployment of the Central Para Military Forces during his two day visit.

A high level meeting between the State's DGP, Chief Secretary and Union Home Ministry officials was also held at New Delhi today deliberating on the State Govt's demand for additional Central forces for the upcoming polls.

Meanwhile Chief Minister O Ibobi who had gone to New Delhi after being summoned by the Congress high command returned today.

EVMs training: Despite the ban imposed on the upcoming polls by various proscribed outfits, training on handling the Electronic Voting Machines are on in full swing in all the dists of the State amidst tight security.

It may be noted here that the election for the Outer seat has been fixed on April 20 while polls for the Inner seat has been scheduled on April 26.Deputy Commissioners and subordinate officials which include Sub Divisional Officers, Sub Deputy Collector etc who had already been trained on utilizing the EVMs are currently training the presiding officers and poll officials on handling the same device at the office premises of the respective Deputy Commissioners under tight security.

A highly placed source from the State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) today informed that the training programme which began on April 2 will continue till April 15 and added that training of the public on the matter would be done through the local television channel, All India Radio and the print media.

Sources also informed that the State CEO office had already dispatched the details of the joint meeting held on last Friday between the leaders of all the political parties and the election observers under the chairmanship of the State CEO V Chibber to the ECI.

It is pertinent to note that during the meeting, Chibber had disclosed that 79 companies of para military forces have been made available in the State by the Centre for the ensuing polls although the State had demanded for 200 companies.

Efforts are also being made to obtain additional forces since the current security strength was not enough to tackle the grave situation, he informed in the meeting.

The observers who were also present at the meeting remarked that the upcoming polls for the two seats would be held as scheduled on April 20 and 26 by deploying more security forces.

However, in view of the rising threats of the militants, representatives of all political parties demanded for postponing the polls.

"We are waiting the replies from the ECI and will act accordingly", the source said adding that so far neither threat nor intimidation have been issued from any underground outfit to the CEO office.