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Repolling ends peacefully, repoll likely in many polling stations

Sunday, February 5, 2012

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
IMPHAL: Amid tight security arrangement repol-ling in all the 34 polling stations spread across the five hill districts ended in a peaceful manner this even-ing even as information has been received that repoll might be ordered in a num-ber of polling stations follo- wing detection of electoral malpractices.

sources disclosed that during assessment of photos taken while casting the vote and those enlisted in the electoral roll it came to light that not only a single individual casts multiple votes but the details also varied.

It is said that on the instruction of the Election Commission of India comparative assessment of the voter's details were carried out during which several anomalies were stumbled.

Most of the electoral malpractices have been reported from the hill district polling stations even though the assessment is only in the initial stages.

For the valley district polling stations too, a few similar anomalies have been detected. Assessment of the valley district polling stations carried out by the respective District election Officers have reportedly been completed.

A final decision on the number of polling stations for repolling would be taken by the ECI based on the report of the DEO concerned.

The ECI reportedly ask-ed the State election autho- rities for minute assessment of the voters' photo on January 13.

Based on the reports of miscreants damaging electronic voting machines (EVMs) and unauthorised armed persons intimidating voters and snatching of EVMs during the election for the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly on January 28, the Election Commission of India ordered fresh elections in the 34 polling sta- tions of 11 assembly constituencies.

Overall percentage of polling is said to be 75.2 even though the figure may vary as some polling teams are still on their way to the respective district headquarters at the time of filing this report.

While repolling in all the polling stations was incident-free, presiding officer of 52/41 Azuram polling station in Tamei AC along with the polling materials (EVMs) were reportedly airlifted in a chopper upto Tamenglong district headquarters soon after the polling process following informations that a group of unidentified armed persons were planning to attack the polling station.

According to an infor-med source, Optic Fibre Cable laid in between Mao to Kangpokpi was found severed in three different places during repolling hours today thereby snapping telecommunication link at some places.

In Chandel district, electorates recast their votes at Modi, Unupat, Larong and Tampi polling stations of Chandel AC while for Teng-noupal AC repolling was conducted at Khunbi Khu-nou, Moreh D, Moreh H and Moreh I (Pt-IA) polling stations.

Tampi polling station witnessed bloodshed on Ja-nuary 28 with seven per- sons, including four polling personnel and a security personnel, getting killed when a gunfight broke out between security forces manning the polling station and suspected NSCN (IM)  activists.

Maximum number of re-polling was held in Chingai assembly constituency of Ukhrul district with the voters re-exercising their demo- cratic rights in nine polling stations and recording a poll percentage of 72.81 percent, out of which a high of 92.23 percent was recorded in 45/49 Tuinem A-I polling station.

repolling were also conducted in one polling sta- tions each of Mao AC in Se-napati district, Nungba and Tamei ACs in Tamenglong district, and Henglep AC of Churachandpur district.

As per official report, out of the 34 polling stations in 11 assembly segments where repolling were held voter tour out was maximum in Chandel AC at 97.26 percent.

Significantly, 41/40 Tampi polling station of the AC, where seven persons were killed in the January 28 election, recorded the highest turn-out of 98.98 percent while Thanlon AC witnessed the lowest turn-out as only 40.77 percent re-exercised their franchise right in the two polling stations where repoll was held.

In Tamenglong district, Azuram polling station in Tamenglong district recorded 63.95 percent while the two polling stations in Tamenglong AC registered 75.74 percent turn-out even as information has been received that in the lone polling station of Nungba AC polling ;

For Churachandpur district, two polling stations in Tipaimukh AC saw 64.85 percent turn-out with Phou-ljang in Henglep AC recording 84.38 percent.

Tengnoupal, the only other assembly constituen-cy in Chandel district, recor- ded 72.06 percent with 42/8 Khunbi Khunou, out of four that went to the repoll recording highest turn-out at 83.44 percent.

Tadubi: Under strict security measures repolling was conducted in seven polling  stations of the constituency with para-military force personnel standing vigil in the polling area and women police of the State frisking female voters and verifying relevant documents before entry to the polling stations.
At least three layers of security checking were put in place at the polling stations, including body search and checking with the use of metal detectors and all voters were prohibited from carrying mobile phones and handbags inside the polling stations.

Media persons were also subjected to the strict security checkings.

It is informed that strength of security personnel at each of the polling stations was tripled compared to the January 28 hustings.

In most of the polling stations, functionaries of the Naga People's Front including the Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio's political advisor and leader advisor were visible.

NPF nominee K Raina was also seen in conversation with the voters at some of the polling stations covered by a team of media.

Repoll was ordered at Mao Pungdung-A&B, Chawainamai Khullen-A&B, Chawainamai Khunou, Makhan Centre-A & B polling stations of the AC following incidents of snatching of EVMs by unknown persons on January 28.

Tengnoupal: Re-poll conducted at 42/58 Dharamsala Moreh, 42/50 Netaji English High School Moreh and 42/60 Yaipha Thourang Thousil Lup within 42 Tengnoupal AC was by and large peaceful.

Re-polling in 42/58 Dharamsala polling station was necessitated as its EVM developed technical snags on January 28, the day of polling.

Poll percentage record-ed at the polling stations of Dharamsala, Netaji English High School and Yaipha Thourang Thousil Lup were 58.67 per cent, 63 per cent and 67 per cent respectively.

While CRPF personnel including women were deployed within the premises of the polling stations, Assam Rifles, Manipur Rifles and Moreh Police guarded the peripehries of the polling stations.

Yet some voters complained that the CRPF personnel made undue interference in the voting process.

Tamenglong: Fresh polls were conducted in four polling stations of Tamenglong district today smoothly, except for some stray incidents of minor violence.

Re-poll was conducted in 52/ 41- Azuram polling station of Tamei AC where 380 voters out of 588 came out and cast their votes making the turnout percentage 65 per cent.

Faulty EVM led to re-poll in this polling station. 53/3- Sonram also witnessed the second polling today and 71 per cent turnout was recorded.

Another polling station of Tamenglong AC that went for re-poll today was 53/22-Duigailong, where booth capturing was the reason for re- poll.

The last polling station that went for re- poll was 54/9- Chakaanlong Tupul in Nungba AC. This polling station saw unwanted incidents with security baton charging some womenfolk causing to at least 10 women. Security forces also opened a few round of shots in the air.

The re-poll was more or less successful despite the earlier speculation that some external elements may interrupt the poll process.

In 52-Tamei AC, four candidates are contesting the election, namely Z. Kikhonbou (INC), N. Awangbou (MSCP), DP panmei (AITC) and Athuan Abonmai (NPF). In 53- Tamenglong AC and 54- Nungba AC three candidates each of INC, MSCP and NPF are contesting.

~The Sangai express
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