Special polling stations arranged for 5,000 voters displaced by Manipur violence

Manipur violence

IMPHAL: While the grim memories of the ethnic violence, which left many dead and scores displaced, still fresh in the minds of voters, 29 special polling stations have been set up ahead of the Lok Sabha elections for about 5,000 people, who are presently sheltered in camps.

All arrangements to enable displaced people to vote have been made in accordance with the guidance received from the central government, polling officials told ANI.

Speaking to ANI on Friday, Imphal West Deputy Commissioner Kiran Kumar said, “Considering the vioence and the displacement caused by the ethnic clashes, we have arranged special pollig stations to enable the internally displaced people to vote. Twenty nine such polling stations have been opened ahead of the general elections.”

“The people displaced within the district will cast their votes at their designated polling stations. There is no specific arrangement for them apart from the transportation services that we will provide. For people from other parliamentary constituencies, who were shifted to Imphal West in light of the violence, we have opened special polling stations. For Inner Manipur, we have arranged for 29 such polling stations. There are about 5,000 internally displaced people,” he added.

In an interview with ANI, the officer said some polling stations are also in the process of being opened at relief camps for the displaced people. “Everyone will be given the opportunity to cast their votes,” he said.

The deputy commissioner added that over the last one or two months, peace has returned to the restive Northeast state following dead clashes over several months.

“We have stepped up security measures and are hopeful that the elections will be pass off peacefully. We have identified vulnerable polling stations, which are to be manned by the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel. The total number of such polling stations are being increased, considering the prevailing situation in the state. Every movement and activity is being solidly watched and monitored,” he added.

The official informed further that they were also tracking social media posts closely and necesary action to take down offensive, misleading or mischievous posts would be taken as and when necessary.

Ethnic clashes erupted in the Northeast state in May, last year, after a tribal solidarity march organised to protest against an order of the Manipur High Court, asking the state government to consider including the majority community in the state in the list of Scheduled Tribes, took a violent turn.

In a statement on September 15, last year, Manipur Police informed that the violence claimed 175 lives, while another 1,138 were injured 33 people reported missing.

In another grim fallout of the violence, scores were displaced after their houses were set ablaze during the ethnic clashes.

In January this year, after reports of fresh violence in the state, a three-member team from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), headed by advisor AK Mishra, was sent to Imphal to assess the situation in the violence-hit state. (ANI)

Also Read: Indian-Americans hold protests against Manipur violence in 3 US states

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