Khonsa : The state police have beefed up security in the Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh ahead of the by-elections to the Khonsa West assembly constituency on October 21.
Tirap superintendent of police Kardak Riba said that adequate security forces, including 12 cos of paramilitary forces, IRBn and state police under the supervision of two SPs will assist them in run-up to by-elections.
According to Riba, 10 DSPs, along with 16 inspectors and 26 sub-inspectors, have also been deployed at different locations to ensure free and fair conduct of by-election on October 21.
A meeting was convened at the deputy commissioner’s office in Khonsa on October 5 to review the preparedness of the by-poll where top cops and officials were present.
Deputy commissioner and returning officer PN Thungon, while speaking with Eastmojo, said that candidates are campaigning peacefully and till now no untoward incidents have occurred. Thungon also informed that in the review meeting he has appealed both the candidates and their supporters to cooperate with the district administration, police and polling teams assigned for the election.
He also urged the power and PHE departments to ensure 24×7 electricity and water supply in all the 23 polling booths.
A recent notification from the CEO’s office said that considering the sensitivity of the constituency, all precautionary arrangements have been made to prevent any untoward incident during the by-election.
“Adequate security will be provided to both the contesting candidates and the district administration has made elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of the bye-election. First level checking of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) has been done and necessary training to the 115 polling personnel has been scheduled for this week. Nodal officers have been appointed to co-ordinate various subject matters,” the notification read.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has deployed two observers — Monoranjan Dutta (general observer) and Parneet Singh (expenditure observer) — to oversee the poll process in the said constituency. If any violation of model code of conduct is noticed, the same may be brought to the notice of the ECI observers immediately, the notification added.
National People’s Party’s Tirap district president Noklam Bisai said that “this by-poll will create history as everything is happening peacefully during election for the fist time in Khonsa and I am happy to be a part of it.”
Sources told Eastmojo that both the candidates, Chakat Aboh and Azet Homtok, have been provided with Z-plus security who will remain with the candidates 24×7.
The October 21 by-election to the Khonsa (West) assembly constituency will witness a straight fight between Chakat Aboh and Azet Homtok. Both of them will fight the by-poll as independent candidates.
The seat had fallen vacant after its sitting MLA Tirong Aboh, his 20-year-old son, and nine others were gunned down by suspected insurgents in Tirap district on May 21 this year.
The National Investigation Agency is currently looking into the case.
Meanwhile, the election authority has requested all the voters of the constituency to co-operate with the district administration and election machinery for peaceful conduct of the bye-election.
The Khonsa assembly constituency has a total of 10,185 voters, including 4,959 male and 5,226 female voters. The total number of polling stations is 23.
Aboh had contested this year’s assembly elections as a National People’s Party candidate and had also retained the seat by defeating his lone rival, Phawang Lowang of the BJP, by 1,055 votes.