The Election Commission has taken a slew of measures including appointment of four central police observers to hold the third phase of polling in the Tripura East Lok Sabha constituency, where election was deferred to April 23, citing an “unconducive security situation”.
In an unprecedented move, the poll panel has appointed three central police observers and a special central police observer to closely oversee the use of security forces in polling in the mountainous tribal reserved parliamentary constituency.
“Plenty of forces, specially the central forces would be deployed in all the 1,645 polling stations in 1,349 locations, spread across six districts under the Tripura East Lok Sabha seat, on April 23,” chief electoral officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti said.
Refusing to disclose the number of additional central forces coming afresh to the state, the official said that polling agents of all the political parties and candidates and if necessary voters would also be provided security to facilitate smooth polling and casting of votes by all the eligible 1,257,944 voters, including 620,291 women electorate.
He said that FIRs were being filed by the assistant returning officers against presiding, polling officers and political activists who indulged in malpractices during the first phase of polling in Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency on April 11.
“The police have been asked to arrest people involved in offences during the polling. They were being identified by studying webcasting, CCTV footage, official documents and complaints of the political parties,” the official said.
Taranikanti returned here on Friday after submitting reports on the wrongdoings and recommendations to the Election Commission on the first phase of polling for the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat.
He said that restrictions would be strictly implemented on the movement of private vehicles and political activists in and around the polling stations in the Tripura East constituency.
A senior police official said that DGP Akhil Kumar Shukla, who had visited some poll bound districts on Friday, and other top police officials would start camping a day before the polling in Tripura East constituency to supervise all aspects of security measures.
The EC had deferred the Tripura East Lok Sabha seat polling following separate reports by the chief electoral officer, special central police observer Mrinal Kanti Das (a former DG of Manipur Police), returning officer Vikas Singh and other intelligence inputs.
Polling in the Tripura West seat was held on April 11 and the EC deferred the voting in the Tripura East constituency from April 18 to April 23, citing “unconducive security situation”.