TODAY -

Memorandum submitted to Election Commission of India
- March 31 2024 : Manipuri Meitei Association, Bangalore (MMAB) -

*



Dated: 31st March 2024
Place: Bengaluru

To,
Shri Rajiv Kumar
Chief Election Commissioner of India,
North Block, New Delhi 110001.

Subject: - Urgent Concerns and Suggestions for Ensuring Free and Fair Elections in Manipur

Respected Election Commission of India,

We, the Manipuri Meitei Association, Bangalore (MMAB), commend the Election Commissioner of India for the announcement of the Lok Sabha Election and appreciate the extensive efforts made to organize the largest Adult Franchise targeting 96.8 crores voters across India. With the 18th Lok Sabha election commencing on April 19th and the results expected on June 4th, and with as many as 21 states covered in the first phase, we recognize the monumental task ahead.

MMAB, established in 1996 as a non-profit organization, has been dedicated to fostering a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood among the Meitei tribe in and around Bengaluru, Karnataka, while supporting various Meitei organizations worldwide. Our mission encompasses the promotion of Meitei primitive culture, preservation of heritage, and facilitation of personal growth within the community.

Additionally, MMAB has been at the forefront during the ongoing crisis, providing relief to over 40 relief camps, supporting impacted students in Karnataka and engaging with governmental agencies in Centre and State to restore peace and development in the State of Manipur.

We extend our acknowledgment to the Election Commission of India for the meticulous preparations undertaken for the forthcoming elections, particularly in Manipur. As ardent proponents of democracy and adult franchise, we emphasize the paramount importance of free and fair elections.

Therefore, as a responsible organization, we wish to express our concerns based on prevailing ground situation and offer suggestions to ensure the integrity of the electoral process in Manipur.

1. Addressing Ongoing Violence: Since May 3rd, 2023, ongoing violence has tragically impacted numerous families, resulting in loss of 142 lives, displacement of more than 70,000 people and destruction of property, including places of worship. Despite the deployment of significant security forces including central forces, one of the highest in the country, efforts to curb this violence have been ineffective. We seek clarification on special arrangements to instill confidence in voters amidst the prevailing insecurity.

2. Dealing with Influx of Migrants: The significant influx of Chin-Kuki illegal immigrants from Myanmar has complicated the demographic landscape, with concerns raised about duplicate entries in the electoral list. Many legitimate voters have lost their ID card in the crisis. Ensuring the legitimacy of voters and preventing voter fraud remains critical amidst these challenges.

3. Enhanced Security Measures: With armed militant groups operating in the region and recent unwanted incidents targeting election campaigns, we emphasize the need for enhanced security measures to provide a safe environment for voters, candidates, and election officials. Many guns were looted from Police Armory and have not been returned, and many have not even deposited licensed guns. How do we ensure a gun-free environment during the election?

4. Ensuring Free Movement: With vital lifelines such as the two National Highway blocked by Kuki miscreants, ensuring free movement of candidates, election officials, and security forces is crucial to conducting a successful election.

5. Ensuring Voter Safety: In 2019 Lok Sabha election the turnout in the State was 82.69%, demonstrating a strong belief in democracy, and currently Manipur has 20,26,623 voters. With a significant number of polling booths in sensitive areas, ensuring the safety and security of voters is paramount. Additionally, measures should be taken to prevent a significant drop in voter turnout.

In certain regions, individuals face pressure from Kuki militant groups, leading to reluctance to participate in the election process. Candidates are sometimes coerced into withdrawing from contests, and election campaigns are discouraged against the wishes of certain individuals. MMAB expresses deep concern regarding the security challenges and safety of both candidates and voters amidst the ongoing violence and security threats.

We urge the Election Commission to publicize and sensitize robust measures implemented to ensure voters' safety and rights protection, fostering confidence among the electorate and preventing untoward incidents. These steps are essential to instill significant confidence in the public and ensure a free and fair election in the state.

We extend our gratitude to the Government of India and the Election Commission for their unwavering dedication to our cause. Together, let us work towards restoring normalcy, safeguarding lives, and upholding the democratic principles integral to our nation's fabric.

MMAB President
Maj Rajkumar Jhaljit Singh (Retd.)

MMAB General Secretary
Nongthombam John Singh

Copy to
1. Ms Anusuiya Uikey,
Governor of Manipur,
Raj Bhawan,
Imphal (West), Manipur 795001

2. Shri Pradeep Kumar Jha,
Eelction Commissioner of Manipur,
Chief Election Officer,
Election Office Campus,
Lamphel, Imphal, Manipur 795001.


* This info was provided to e-pao.net by Manipuri Meitei Association, Bangalore (MMAB) who can be contacted a mmabangalore(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
This article was posted on 02 April 2024 .



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