No polling in Ladigarh as police forces of Assam, Nagaland face off

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No polling in Ladigarh as police forces of Assam, Nagaland face off

Dimapur, Apr 11 : With 84.64% voter turnout, polling in 2058 stations out of 2059 spread across Nagaland went off peacefully without any hiccups except for Ladigarh. No polling was held there.

Tension continued to prevail in border area - between Yanglok and Ladigarh village after Assam Police along with CRPF personnel fortified the area prohibiting vehicular movements and polling officials from entering the village since Tuesday.

Commissioner Nagaland and Returning Officer (RO) Temjen Toy Temjen said despite the effort of the state government, the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Union Home Ministry to diffuse the tension, the polling officials on duty were obstructed by Assam Police from entering the polling station.

The RO however expressed hope that ECI would soon announce re-poll in Ladigarh under 49 Tamlu A/C, Longleng district.

Meanwhile, Phom Peoples’ Council (PPC) has filed an urgent complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner through the CEO, Nagaland seeking immediate action over Assam Police prohibiting state poll officials from entering the polling station at Ladigarh.

In the complaint, PPC president Leisha Phom said polling officers and securities deputed for the Ladigarh polling station No. 1 under 49 Tamlu A/C were not allowed to enter the area by the heavily armed Assam Police personnel denying the electorates to exercise their right to vote.

PCC said ECI had sent 5 companies of central security personnel to ensure peaceful conduct of election and safe passage to the polling officers including the electorate at the designated polling. However, the effort was rendered futile as polling could not be conducted in the polling station.

PCC said that act of the Assam Police was a “deliberate violation” of the election code of conduct, a direct challenge to the ECI and an outright “murder of democracy.”

The council reminded that Nagaland Armed Police personnel led by the DIG and the Commanding Officer were obstructed from entering the designated polling station on April 8 and 9.

Under such circumstances, the question of alternative makeshift for voting did not arise as the road has already been blocked by the Assam Police.

PPC also expressed dismay as there was no clear directive from the ECI despite reporting about the matter earlier. The council pointed out that the Assam government should be directed to honour the interim order of the Supreme Court dated December 18, 2012 and that the ECI should implement the order without fear or favour to ensure free and fair elections.

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