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Elaborate security arrangements in place for LS polls tomorrow

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SIX KILLINGS IN STATE SINCE ANNOUNCEMENT OF POLLS

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, April 17: Elaborate security arrangements have been made in the state for the conduct of the parliamentary elections on April 19.
Meghalaya has two seats – Shillong and Tura. It is, perhaps, for the first time that people witnessed a very aggressive election campaign in the state. Pre-poll violence was reported from some parts earlier. This is unprecedented in Lok Sabha elections in the state.
East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police, Rituraj Ravi said the police have made elaborate security arrangements in Shillong and across the district in view of the polls. “We are confident that it will be a free, fair and peaceful election,” he said.
There will be three-tier security for the strong room. Separate arrangements have been made for the polling stations. “There are different categories of polling stations depending on vulnerability. We have made necessary arrangements,” the SP said.
Eight companies of Central Armed Police Force have been deployed for strong room duty, polling station duty and area domination in the district. The police are conducting flag marches and road marches to instill confidence and a sense of security among the citizens.
To a query, the SP said they have a multi-faceted approach to thwart illegal activities such as the distribution of cash and liquor ahead of the polls.
“There are Flying Squads and Static Surveillance Teams which work 24 hours,” Ravi said, adding the police stations are frisking vehicles to ensure there is no untoward incident and no violation of the model code of conduct.
As many as six people have lost their lives in the state since March 16 when the Election Commission of India announced the Lok Sabha poll schedule.
Though these incidents are non-political in nature, police are investigating if some of these incidents have any political angle.
On March 27, two people were killed in Ichamati, East Khasi Hills, after an anti-CAA protest. Two KSU leaders were arrested in connection with the incident.
A daily wager was assaulted and killed inside the premises of a private residence at Mawlai Mawroh in the capital when he was assaulted by six masked miscreants on the pretext of checking his labour licence. Two other labourers escaped with minor injuries.
In a third incident on the final day of campaigning on Wednesday, three youth from Assam were found murdered in East Garo Hills, their bodies burnt beyond recognition and buried in two shallow graves in the Rongmil area, 15 km from Rongjeng.
After an aggressive campaign, the silence period has come into force. The “Campaign Silence Period” prohibits election campaign activities, public meetings, processions, etc.
Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer for the Shillong seat, SC Sadhu issued an order on Wednesday directing all private and government schools and colleges, and ITI under Shillong urban areas to remain closed on Thursday to facilitate the movement of all polling parties within the Shillong parliamentary constituency.

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