Stray incidents of violence mar otherwise peaceful poll in Ukhrul

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IMPHAL June 1: Voter turnout in the Ukhrul Autonomous District Council election is expected to reach 85 percent.

However, unlike the intimidating atmosphere of the last ADC election in 2010, the election process was comparatively peaceful and cordial barring a few untoward incidents at some polling stations.

According to reliable sources, Kuki militants had forcefully cast votes around 2pm in three polling stations namely Molam, Zalengbung and Molnom.

It is also said that at Molam, the public broke the ballot boxes and found around 90 percent of the votes cast in favour of a single candidate.

Meanwhile, it is also learnt that at Zalengbung and Molnom candidates of several parties collectively complaint to the polling stations before their departure from the stations.

At 44/58 Lunghar (A) and (B) under Khamasom DCC, some candidates and their supporters alleged impersonation and proxy voting in favour of an independent candidate and that their polling agents were also not allowed to enter the polling station. The same matter was also reported to the DC, Ukhrul. Sources also said that houses were dismantled and three individuals including a Village Authority member were thrashed.

The village authority member is said to be admitted at the Ukhrul District Hospital.

Voting in the village polling station was also delayed due to the incident, sources claimed.

Former MLA T Bishwajit who came as a BJP election observer had later filed a written complaint with the Ukhrul DC.

Reports also said that complaints have been lodged against supporters of Independent candidate Ngatangmi Ningshen for trying to capture polling booths at Patbung and Khambi polling stations.

While Congress agent Ng Shangreiphou told media persons that he was kept under house arrest for the last two days by miscreants.

At Tuinem/ Teinem polling station all agents except of NPF walked out and lodge a complaint to the Ukhrul DC against proxy voting. Similar complaints of NPF dominance and proxy were also voiced at Somdal and Jessami polling stations.

At Sanakeithel, locals denied media persons access to the polling stations.

However, all the ten polling stations in Ukhrul town witnessed undisturbed polling.

According to the Ukhrul Deputy Commissioner, Owing to the topography and distance from the head quarter, the polling officers with their respective final reports are yet to arrive in the district headquarter, hence repoll list is yet to be finalized.

It might be worth noting that United Naga Council has not interfered in the present ADCE despite reiterating its previous position of severing ties with the State government thus boycotting the ADCE and demanding `Alternative Arrangement`™.

Polling in three booths under 3-Chingai Ukhrul DCC namely Nungbi Khullen, Kalhang Khullen and Razai Khullen concluded peacefully with no reports of any untoward incident.

The turnout of voters in the polling stations was above average. In Nungbi Khullen having 972 eligible voters, more than 600 cast their vote before noon for candidates including two independents, one each from Congress, BJP and NPF.

As for Kalhang Khullen having 544 eligible voters, a total of 330 electorates came out to vote for candidates including two independents, one each from Congress, BJP and NPF.

In Razai Khullen having 277 electorates, 262 voters turned up to exercise their franchise till 1.30 pm to seal the fate of four candidates each from Congress, NPF and BJP and independent.

After no one turned up to cast vote in the polling station, the ballot box was sealed in the presence of polling officials.

For the other two booths, the polling process continued till 4 pm.

Meanwhile, an unofficial source also informed about a shoot-out between 20th Assam Rifles and a valley based group somewhere between Wanglee and Asang Khullen this afternoon.

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