Assam beefs up security before the elections
Security forces have stepped up safety measures to ensure safe and fearless environment for voters as the world's biggest election is to begin in a day in the remote backwater of tea gardens and rice paddies of Assam.
Assam and Tripura will go to polls on Monday.
The security personnel are on high alert to thwart any attempt by insurgent outfits to disrupt the democratic process.
In the past the state has witnessed poll boycotts by underground outfits, and incidents of threats and extortions against candidates.
Many anti-government outfits function in the region and threaten people against taking part in the elections - the democratic exercise they despise.
Police forces are all the more vigilant as the polling date coincides with the raising day of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
"We have alerted all our staff for the security arrangement. We are in liaison with local police's Pradeep Vohra and we are scanning luggage in all trains with hand metal detectors to drive away anti-social elements and we are attending meetings and with full awareness handling security," said Dilip Kumar Tiwari, railway station in-charge, Railway Police Force.
"We have already beefed up our security; we have put up our efforts on checking and we have already started using armed force for the security of entire Jorhat district," said Amanjeet Kaur, Superintendent of Police, Jorhat.
The international border with Bangladesh has also been sealed to avoid any cross-border infiltration.
Meanwhile, the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were brought in Kaliabor district in Assam after elaborate checking and under heavy security.
In Tripura, around 20,000 security personnel, including 15,000 state police and Tripura State Rifles troopers, would be deployed to maintain law and order during the elections.
For years now, militancy-led violence has severely affected life and hampered socio-economic growth in the region.
Assam, one of the lush but under-developed states where the election begins, is a rare bastion of support for Congress.
But even here people are impatient for change, saying they want highways to replace potholed country lanes.
"The government has to do lot of things to improve the general law and order situation as far as to restore its credibility among the masses and also to restore confidence of the people. I don't think there has been much in this area," said a voter, Sajid Ali.
Normalcy and development are two central concerns of the people of northeast, and they will play a decisive role in the upcoming elections.
(Posted on 06-04-2014)