Allow SoO cadres to enjoy voting rights, Centre instructs

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Preparation for peaceful poll in Outer constituency in full swing: RO

IMPHAL, April 3: Preparations are underway to enable cadres of militant outfits presently under Suspension of Operation with the governments to cast their votes in the upcoming 16th Lok Sabha election. The unique step has been taken up after due consideration between the Indian government and the Election Commission of India.

This was stated by Outer Manipur (ST) Parliamentary Constituency election returning officer T Ranjit.

The RO who is also the deputy commissioner of Thoubal said polling at 29 polling stations in his district will be webcasted.

Speaking to media persons last night during a press conference at the Thoubal DC complex, he said that there has been an instruction from the ECI to classify the SoO signatory cadres lodged in their respective designated camps under the “Notified Class Voter” and allow them to cast their votes through postal ballot papers.

Steps have been taken up following the instructions, he said.

Elaborating further, he said that nodal officers have been ordained to ensure that the necessary forms for voters including 12-c, 13A, PB, 13-B, 13-C and 13D are available at all designated camps in the state ahead of the polls.

The nodal officer will also be responsible for the transportation of the sealed envelopes, he said before asserting that the arrangement is an innovative kind, and is the first in the country.

Of the total 366 polling stations in the district, 29 will be webcasted, he said; and added that 30-Lilong, 31-Thoubal and 32-Wangkhen constituencies comes under the Inner Parliamentary Constituency.

33-Heirok, 34-Wangjing Tentha, 35-Khangabok, 36-Wabagai, 37-Kakching, 38-Hiyanglam and 39-Sugunu of the district comes under the Outer parliamentary constituency.

Further according to the RO, the ST reserved Outer Constituency has 28 constituencies including Jiribam.

Of the 29 polling stations to be webcasted in the district, 13 stations come under Inner Constituency and the remaining 16 under the Outer constituency, he said.

Further elaborating on the preparations taken up ahead of the polls, Ranjit said that according to a report of the district’s SP, the three constituencies in the district which comes under the Inner Parliamentary constituency has 114 polling stations with 15 have been classified as hyper sensitive, 99 as sensitive, while the district has 252 Outer polling stations of which 16 has been classified as sensitive, 196 as sensitive and 40 as normal.

As for deployment of security forces, each hyper-sensitive polling stations will be guarded by 10 armed personnel of the Central Para Military Force along with a civil police personnel, and aided by state forces, he said.

Each sensitive station will be deployed eight personnel each, whereas each normal station will be guarded by five armed CPMF personnel, he continued.

To ensure free and fair conduct of the April 9, Lok Sabha Election for the Outer Manipur Parliamentary seat, steps have been taken up jointly by the DCs/DEOs, SPs of Chandel, Churachandpur, Senapati, Ukhrul and Tamenglong and ADCs/AROs of Kangpokpi, Jiribam and Thoubal, he said.

Arrangements to provide Id cards for the voters have been made along with the BLOs of the polling stations, presiding officers have also been provided training to ensure help for differently abled voters and who need assistance, he said.

He further appealed to voters to come out and cast their valuable votes to make the election a success.

According to a source, 32/1 Maipak Jr High School of 32-Wangkhem constituency has the highest number of voters amongst the polling stations of the district included in the Outer constituency.

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