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Updated: January 28, 2012 02:09 IST

On poll eve, Manipur put on ‘red alert'

J. Balaji
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Election officers distribute Electronic Voting Machines to polling officers on the eve of state assembly election in Bishnupur district in Manipur on Friday. Photo: AP
Election officers distribute Electronic Voting Machines to polling officers on the eve of state assembly election in Bishnupur district in Manipur on Friday. Photo: AP

The Election Commission has put entire Manipur on “red alert” in view of a series of bomb blasts and attacks on security personnel by militants in the last few days to “disturb” elections to the 60-member Assembly on Saturday.

This is the first poll in a series of Assembly elections to be held in Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Goa.

Militants not only tried to disturb the Republic Day celebrations on Thursday by exploding a bomb near Shamashakhi School in Imphal, they also attacked security personnel on poll duty with sniper fire on Wednesday night at Chasad in Ukhrul district, killing two CRPF jawans. In other incidents, militants exploded two bombs at Kakwa in Imphal West district on Wednesday night. One person was injured in a bomb blast at the house of a former government official at Thangmeiband in the same district on Friday. The house was attacked allegedly because one of the occupants had contested the previous poll.

The Commission was watching the situation and issued instructions to the security agencies to take maximum measures to ensure that polling was peacefully with a good turnout, sources in the Commission said.

Polling will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are 279 contestants in the fray. The electors' strength is 17.50 lakh, including 8.91 lakh women voters.

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