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Mizoram: Abducted candidates freed

November 20, 2003 11:41 IST

The three abducted candidates from Suangpuilawn constituency in Mizoram's Aizawl district, who were released early on Thursday morning, claimed the atmosphere in the state is unfavourable for elections.

"There is fear and panic in the area. Very few voters would exercise their franchise and even the Returning Officers are saying they are unsure of proper conduct of the polls," H Laltanpuia, sitting MLA from Suangpuilawn, told PTI. He is contesting on a Mizoram People's Conference ticket.

Appealing for postponement of the polls, Congress's H Ngurdingliana said, "There is no atmosphere for free and fair polls in Suangpuilawn as militants are moving around freely with AK-47 guns, asking our supporters to vote for the Hmar People's Convention candidate. It is a complete failure of the law and order machinery."

Taking out a bullet from his pocket, ruling MNF candidate Vaninmawia said, "They (militants) gave us these bullets and told us to withdraw from the contest. The message was clear. If we do not allow victory of the Hmar candidate, they will kill us."

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