Peaceful but vandals stall voting at two booths in CCpur AC
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 23: Polling in 58/15 and 58/16 polling stations of Churachandpur A/C was stalled after some persons vandalised the EVMs kept there after which BSF personnel reacted by opening fire in the air.

Otherwise there was no untoward incident in the whole district in the final phase of polling today.

At 58/16, barely 10 minutes before the end of the scheduled polling period, an unidentified voter came to the polling station under the pretext of casting his vote at around 3.20 pm.

While the polling agents were trying to verify the voter, he attempted to snatch the EVM.

However, the Presiding Officer and other officials immediately sounded an alert forcing the miscreant to drop the EVM before escaping amid the crowd.

BSF personnel on duty fired some rounds.

Consequent upon the firing, about 10 voters who were in the queue just beyond the polling booth fled.

Immediately after the incident, DEO/DC of Churachandpur district Sumant Singh and a police team led by IG (L/O II) Romenkumar rushed to the polling station.

Following the incident , Bishnupur police commandos launched extensive frisking exercise in New Lamka area during which four youth coming in a Tata DI MN 1K-4286 were pulled up along with the vehicle.

Speaking to reporters, DC Sumant Singh said that a decision on whether re-polling would be conducted or not will be taken only after experts check the damaged EVM.

Further, the DEO has instructed the Police Department to inquire into the attempt to snatch EVM from the polling station well guarded by armed BSF personnel.

BSF and CRPF personnel on duty in all the polling stations of the six Assembly segments of Churachandpur district were too alert and were indulging in activities uncalled for.

As a result, media persons faced severe inconveniences in collecting news and information.

On account of their extra vigilance, voters were made to remove belts, leave behind mobile phones, matches etc in 67/30 polling station at Tuibong Jr H/S under Saikot A/C.Moreover, at 69/1 polling station of Saikot A/C and 68/22 polling station of Churachandpur A/C, media persons were not allowed to enter polling stations saying that they did not recognise the authorisation cards issued by the Election Commission.

Contrary to the earlier instruction of the Election Commission to produce identity cards, voters identified by agents were allowed to exercise franchise even if they did not have identity cards.

However, at 68/46 and 68/44 polling stations of Churachandpur A/C, there were cases of security personnel tearing identity cards issued by Government on the charge that they were proxy voters.

Nevertheless, the electorates were allowed to vote without any hindrance after an understanding was reached with the security personnel.

Even as the polling was scheduled to commence from 7 am, in some polling stations of Saikot A/C and Churachandpur A/C polling actually began one hour later due to technical snag in EVMs.

Contrary to the earlier declaration of the Election Commission not to deploy State force in the 9th Assembly elections, women police personnel were used in the elections in Churachandpur district today.

In 69/9 polling station of Saikot A/C, there was a serious scuffle among women voters, women police personnel were pressed into service to control the row.

More than 60 companies of para military forces were deployed in Churachandpur district for the third phase of polling.

Polling personnel were airlifted by helicopters in Thanlon, Henglep and Tipaimukh constituencies.