Tripura polls: EC's special efforts for voting in bordering villages, vigil on border

Agartala, Feb 8 (IANS): The Election Commission ahead of the February 16 Tripura assembly elections has made special arrangements for voting for the people living in Indian territory but outside the barbed wire fencing erected along the international border with Bangladesh, officials said on Wednesday.

As the India-Bangladesh areas bordering Tripura have no 'No Man's Land', several hundred families live outside the fencing but in Indian territory just along the border line. There are some gates operated by the Border Security Force (BSF) and whenever the villagers are required to go deep inside Indian territory or to a different location or market or any offices, the Indian villagers taking permission from the border guards move to their places.

Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao said that lists of the voters living outside the border fencing have been given to the BSF authorities. "Our officials have asked the BSF to cooperate with these voters on February 16," he told the media.

Following the directive of the Election Commission, the authorities have taken strict security measures along the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura. A senior police official said that all 32 police stations along the border with Tripura are working in close coordination with the BSF to check intruders and smuggling of drugs and contraband.

The three Election Observers, who recently visited Tripura, asked the BSF officials to convene meetings immediately with their counterparts (Border Guard Bangladesh) to sensitise them to take a more vigilant approach considering the elections. The police official said that besides undertaking anti-insurgency operations against the underground elements, special measures have been taken in the mixed populated and ethnically sensitive areas.

The Union Home Ministry following the request of the Election Commission would deploy 30,000 security personnel of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) to ensure zero poll violence. The majority of the CAPF comprising Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, have already arrived in Tripura and more are on the way.

"The flag marches by the CAPF and the Tripura State Rifles have been continued since the second week of January to ensure confidence building among the political workers for campaigning and among the citizens to cast their votes freely without any fear. The security forces are deployed well before the poll process so that they get familiar with the locality. Local police should extend necessary cooperation to the CAPF," the official said.

A large number of fixed police pickets, 3320 Naka points (check gates), installation of hundreds of CCTVs, round-the-clock patrolling, inter-state border meetings, preventive arrests, execution of warrants are some of the many measures that have been undertaken to ensure peaceful elections.



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Title: Tripura polls: EC's special efforts for voting in bordering villages, vigil on border

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