M’laya, Assam agree to check rebels’ movement

Meghalaya CEO P Naik (left) along with Additional CEO of Assam RC Jain addresses  media persons after the meeting in city on Tuesday. (ST)
Meghalaya CEO P Naik (left) along with Additional CEO of Assam RC Jain addresses media persons after the meeting in city on Tuesday. (ST)

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya and Assam Governments have agreed to beef up security along the inter-State border in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.

The decision was taken in a joint meeting of the Chief Electoral Officer of Meghalaya Prashant Naik and Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Assam RC Jain in Shillong on Tuesday.

“Besides providing logistic support, we have agreed to beef up security and check the movement of extremists groups along the inter-state border,” Naik informed after the meeting.

Jain said, however, that Meghalaya had been requested to prevent the movement of extremists. “From our side, we assured to provide assistance, cooperation and coordination for peaceful conduct of elections.”

Meghalaya goes to polls on April 9 while the elections in Assam will be held in three phases on April 7 and 12 and 24.

During the election process, the two states would maintain co-ordination on the law and order front. For this, the details were worked out at the meeting.

Meghalaya has sought assistance from Assam in providing vehicles during the elections. “We have requested Assam to help with a certain number of vehicles because we are running short of vehicles especially in Garo Hills sector. We are asking for vehicles from them to be used during the elections,” the Meghalaya CEO said.

Additional CEO of Assam Jain assured that Assam will extend help in ensuring that the polling material for the 101 polling stations of Meghalaya reached their destination. Meghalaya and Assam shares an inter-state border of about 800 kilometers, he said. Meghalaya has 126 polling stations located in 105 locations in the bordering areas.

Management of dry days and movement of polling parties were also discussed at the meeting. Both the states agreed to declare dry days along the inter-state border areas when they go to polls. Naik assured that dry days in Meghalaya areas bordering Assam will start from the evening of April 5.

Asked about dual voters along inter-state borders and the steps being taken by both the states, the Assam Additional CEO admitted of having detected a few such cases. He informed the issue of dual voters has also been taken care by both the states.

Naik said action has to be taken against dual voters and this could be done when there were complaints. He said so far Meghalaya has detected six cases in the Garo Hills and officials have been directed to verify.

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