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Nagaland cops storm deputy commissioner's office
February 26, 2003 05:48 IST
About 100 personnel of the Nagaland Armed Police stormed the office of the deputy commissioner in Zunheboto district on Monday night on suspicion that their postal ballots for the assembly election scheduled on Wednesday were being tampered with.
They detained 20 staff members for about eight hours, apparently irked by the inadequate number of postal ballots issued by the district election office.
The cops ransacked the office premises damaging furniture, windows, vehicles and poll-related materials.
Chief Electoral Officer Lalthara told PTI poll-related work resumed on Tuesday morning, while polling officials left for their polling stations.
Home Secretary A S Bhatia has rushed to the town on the instruction of Chief Secretary R S Pandey to supervise election preparations.
Bhatia was ordered to send a detailed report of the incident to the government and communicate with the CEO and
other senior government officials.
The district police said that Additional Director General of Police (Administration) N N Walling reviewed the situation
and assured NAP personnel that postal ballots would be provided.
An official release later said the agitation at the DC's office by NAP personnel was amicably settled.
DC K N Ngullie spoke to representatives of the policemen and settled their grievances, while the district administration
swung into action to complete the poll preparation, it added.
Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements marked the eve of polling in Tripura, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh.
In Agartala, the capital of Tripura, over 53,000 security personnel, including the Central Reserve Police Force, Assam Rifles, Border Security Force and Tripura Police, have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling.
Sixty-five BSF companies, including 19 additional companies, were deployed along the 856-km Indo-Bangla international border to abort any attempt by insurgents, having base camps in Bangladesh, to enter the state on the eve of the election. Helicopters have been pressed into service to maintain vigil in the insurgency prone parts of the state.
About 124 polling stations have been declared "hyper-sensitive" and 353 "very sensitive". Over 45,000 police, paramilitary and army personnel have been deployed to ensure peaceful polls in Nagaland.
Out of a total of 1,583 polling stations, 475 were identified as "hyper-sensitive" and 590 as "sensitive" in the state.
In Himachal Pradesh, around 1,000 paramilitary personnel and 13,000 police and home guards have been deployed to ensure free and fair polls.
Balloting will be held for 65 assembly constituencies in Himachal Pradesh and 60 each in the three northeastern states.
Polling for three snowbound constituencies in Himachal Pradesh -- Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi Bharmaur -- has been deferred to June eight.
The Election Commission has put off the bypoll for Poreyahat assembly constituency in Jharkhand to March 24 in view of the strike by the policemen in the state.
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