In view of the Assembly elections in the northeastern state of Nagaland, the interstate borders have been sealed to prevent undesirable elements and materials from being transported into Assembly Constituencies from outside.
As per the Election Commission of India, the voting will start at 7 am today and will conclude at 4 pm. The counting of votes will be held on March 2.
"In compliance with PHQ Signal No.PHQ/ELECTIONCELL/GAE/61/2022-23/387 as per Election Commission of India SOP for the last 72 hours all interstate borders will have to be sealed to prevent undesirable elements and materials from being transported into Assembly Constituency from outside and to apprehend them if they attempt to do so," read an official press release from Deputy Commissioner of Police, Nagaland.
Wockha, Mokokchung, Dimapur, Noklak, Meluri, Chizami, Zunheboto and Phek have been declared as sensitive areas due to poll-bound violence.
Poll-related incidents were reported in Nagaland over the days with assembly polls slated for the 27th of this month.
As per an official release from the Dy Commissioner of Police, Nagaland, all check posts were directed to be sealed from the evening of February 25 till the evening of February 27.
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"In this connection, DCP Dimapur/ Chumoukedima/ Niuland are directed to ensure the following at every interstate entry point under respective AOR. Seal all check posts w.e.f the evening of 25/02/2023 till the evening of 27/02/2023 and disallow any thoroughfare," it read.
Patrolling has been intensified along the border to apprehend anyone attempting to crossover.
"Intensify patrolling along the border and apprehend anyone attempting to crossover. Co-ordinate with neighbouring Districts and Authorities of bordering states to ensure proper sealing of border," it read.
However, the movement of Essential commodities and Emergency services into the state is to be coordinated.
Shekhar (IAS), Home Commissioner Nagaland Abhipt Soiha (KM) and Nagaland Director General of Police, Rupin Sharma PPS), visited Wokha district on February 25 and held a series of meetings with District Administration, Police, Political Parties and Civil societies organisations of Wokha district at the Office chamber of the Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer, Wokha.
The visit is against the backdrop of certain incidents of pre-poll violence in some districts including Wokha. The Chief Electoral Officer, Nagaland, Home commissioner, Nagaland and DGP, Nagaland reviewed the law and order in the district and held a consultation with the various political parties and civil societies for maintaining a peaceful atmosphere and conducting free and fair elections.
The visiting officials appealed to the leaders to sensitize the public to maintain peace and not to indulge in any election-related violence All the stakeholders assured to abide by the guidelines of the Election Commission and to extend support and cooperation to the District Administration and Police for the successful conduct of an election.
DGP, Nagaland Rupin Sharma assured of sufficient security forces and appealed to the parties and Oval societies organisations to inculcate good behaviour among the party supporters and general public so that election can be conducted in a safe and free and fair manner.
Speaking to ANI, Director General of Police, Nagaland Rupin Sharma said that security has been beefed up in the state and the Central Armed Police have been deployed across districts.
"Terrains in Nagaland are very difficult to commute even for short distances. Police personnel are putting a lot of effort into controlling law and order," he said.
DGP urged the citizens to inform the police if they get any untoward information on anyone trying to indulge or plan to create violence.
Sharma said police have tightened the checking of vehicular movements and patrolling has been intensified in the districts.
The DGP said, "Checking vehicles is important to combat the transportation of liquor, contraband or cash during the election which is antithetical to the mode of conduct under the Election Commission of India that mandates a free and fair election, which means that the political parties, workers and people should abstain from giving or seeking favour to others."
The top cop said surprise checking is being conducted across the state. He said checking of government-registered vehicles was also increased.
"Those people who have taken vehicles auctioned by Nagaland government to change the number plates as there are reports of using the vehicles with the government and police stickers are still on, must abstain from doing it, and if found using the old number plates, the vehicles will be impounded by the police," he added.
The Nagaland Assembly election will witness a total of 183 candidates in the fray for 60 seats, Chief Electoral Officer, V Shashank Shekhar said on Saturday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Nagaland opened its account in the state ahead of the polls as the party candidate Kazheto Kinimi won from the Akuluto seat uncontested after the Congress candidate withdrew his candidature.
"For the first time, the Election Commission of India has deputed three Special Observers for covering the election process in three states, the Special General Observer, Special Expenditure Observer and Special Police Observer have been deputed," he said.
The candidates vying for the state polls include 20 from BJP, CPI (1), INC (23), NCP (12), NPP (12), NDPP (40), NPF (22), RPP (1), JD (U) (7), LJP (Ram Vilas) (15), RPI (Athawale) (9), RJD (3), and Independents (19).
The number of electors in the state stands at 13,17,632, out of which 6,61,489 are male electors, and 6,56,143 are female.
"Kazheto Kinimi's opponent from Akuluto Assembly Constituency, and INC candidate Khekashe Sumi withdrew his candidature on the last day of nomination withdrawal, February 10," Shekhar informed in a press briefing.
"The total nominated candidates during this process was 225, where 25 were rejected and during the time for withdrawal which was given, 16 candidates withdrew their nominations after scrutiny. Four women candidates from Dimapur AC, Tening AC, 8th Western Angami AC and Atoizu Assembly Constituency will also partake in the State Assembly election," the poll officer said.
The total number of Polling Stations is 2,351, with Merapani Polling Station No. 71 under 40 Bhandari AC recording the lowest number of electors (37), and Usutomi Polling Station No. 12 under 32 Atoizu AC recording the highest number of electors (1,348).
The Assembly Constituency with the lowest number of electors is 27 Mokokchung Town AC with 8,302 electors, and the Assembly Constituency with the highest number of electors is 4 Ghaspani-I AC with 74,395 electors. The Assembly Constituencies with the highest number of contesting candidates (6 candidates each) are - 6 Tening AC, 39 Sanis AC, and 45 Tehok AC.
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