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Diphu LS seat to go to polls today amid initial hiccups

Presiding and polling officials carrying EVMs and VVPATs to a polling booth ahead of the 2nd phase of Lok Sabha poll, 2019, at Diphu on Wednesday. – UB Photos
 DIPHU, April 17 - Amid a few initial hiccups, Diphu parliamentary constituency is all set to hold tomorrow’s election which will be held in the second phase. Diphu parliamentary constituency consists of five Assembly segments viz., Diphu, Howraghat, Bokajan, Baithalangso and Haflong, spread across West Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong autonomous hill districts, under the control of Returning officer and Deputy Commissioner Karbi Anglong, Diphu.

The election authority received the first jolt yesterday when a less significant Dimasa ethnic militant group Dimasa National Liberation Army under the control of Dimasa Peoples Supreme Council based at headquarters Dima Haphai issued a press note on April 15 calling for a 36-hour Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao shutdown commencing from 5.40 pm of April 17 unlike 2014 when another ethnic group had called for general strike on the poll day. However, this time the strike call of the militant group received zero response from the common mass as the situation has remain total normal in the entire hills in the middle of tight security enforced by the authority in the entire constituency.

The second incident was when a bus carrying poll officials for polling station numbers 132 and 133 set up at Daojutha LP School under Howraghat police station teetered off the road near Desobai on its way from Diphu this afternoon– with around 10 polling personnel receiving minor injuries. They were replaced immediately by personnel from the reserve pool.

The vast parliamentary segment, apart from covering an area of more than 16,000 square miles of diverse topography, mostly hilly regions and deep valley areas, has 1174 polling stations where 9,958,085 lakh voters will exercise their franchise. Among the polling stations, 98 have been marked as sensitive and 113 as critical.

“According to the standard operating procedure, we have made full security arrangement with full cooperation from the neighbouring police districts. A sufficient number of security personnel including paramilitary forces have been deployed in all vulnerable polling stations, area domination and rounding up of anti-social elements are on. Army has been kept in readiness for any eventuality. We expect that polling will be peaceful and voters can take part in the elections without any apprehension,” G Upadhyay, SP, Karbi Anglong told this correspondent.

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