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514 polling booths ‘very sensitive’ in Cachar

SILCHAR, Feb 8: Five hundred and fourteen of the 1669 polling stations in Cachar district have been identified as very sensitive for the ensuing panchayat elections, which will be held on February 12.
Speaking to mediapersons last evening about the arrangements being made for the elections, Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta, Deputy Commissioner, said that out of 1669 polling booths in the district, 514 stations were 'very sensitive', 436 sensitive and rest 659 booths were comparatively safe. He said that special security arrangements would be made for these 'sensitive' and 'very sensitive' stations to avoid any untoward incident on the day of the polls.
He informed that the district had been divided into 96 sectors for smoothconduct of the polls. "In these sectors, an officer would be deployed, besides the police personnel. In case of any unpleasant incident, these sector officers would move to the polling stations concerned within their stipulated areas. Sector officers would be accompanied by police personnel," he added.
Diganta Bora, Superintendent of Police, said that nine companies of armed forces, which included six companies ofAssam Police Battalion and three companies of CRPF, would be deployed in the district. He further added to say that Army and BSF had already givenassurances to the district administration that they would carry out extensivepatrolling in the 'sensitive' areas. One policeman along with three VDP members will be put on duty in each polling booth, he said.
He did admit that with limited force available, the administration, civil and police, in joint coordination would monitor the poll process and in the event of any untoward incident taking place, he was confident, itwould be dealt with the promptness and agility it needed. "We do not see any extremist connection in the district. We are just anticipating group clashes which can be easily tackled by the security personnel available with us," he added.
Counting would take place on February 14 and 15 to decide the fate of the candidates contestingthe Panchayat Elections. There will be 9 counting halls in the district of which six number of halls are at Inter State Bus Terminus while three at Inter State Truck Terminus. The counting will be held under CCTV surveillance. No one would be allowed to enter counting halls with mobile phones, water bottles and ink. The agents will also not be allowed to carry mobile phones in the polling stations during the day of the poll.
For smooth conduct of thepolls, 11,000 poll personnel would be put on service and for mobility of men and materials, around 1100 vehicles have been requisitioned. The entire district of Cachar has beendivided into 49 zones. TheDeputy Commissioner is at the apex of the whole poll paraphernalia as the returning officer to be assisted by 29 assistant returning officers. Nineteen cells have been constituted to keep a close watch on the poll proceedings, besides operation of a 24X 7 help line for responding to anyemergent call or situation.
In all there are 10,73,269 electorates, 560379 male and 512890 female, who will exercise their franchise to elect their representatives to the Gaon panchayats. There isa sharp 7.46 per cent increase in the number of electorates from the last year. The district election machinery and district police administration are doing full preparations to hold the election smoothly. Among others present at the press meet included R K Laskar, election officer, Debasish Chakraborty, additional Deputy Commissioner, Arunabha Dey, ADC and in–charge of election cell, B Das, ADC, D N Loying, Deputy Director of Information and Public Relations, Barak Valley region. (SentinelAssam)

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