The Strategic and Operations Group (SOG) has given final touches to a security plan to maintain law and order during the election of the general seat of the Lok Sabha in Manipur scheduled on April 17. Chaired by the chief secretary, P.C. Lawnkunga, the SOG decided to deploy 74 central, 32 state and seven Assam Rifles companies in view of the continuing threats from some Maoist groups. Besides there will be 30 teams of flying squads in the valley districts where the elections will be held. 35 companies of Assam Rifles which are in Manipur already have been dispersed at different places of the valley districts.
There are 1154 polling stations and a little more than 8 lakh voters in this constituency. Eight candidates including a woman independent are in the fray. The electioneering will end at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. There have been road shows, public meetings, house to house campaigns covering most parts of the constituency.
There have been various threats from the underground organisations which are boycotting the elections. There were allegations of booth capturing, impersonation and threats from some armed persons in the reserved Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency where elections were held on April 9. There were also demands from the BJP and the Naga People’s Front to order repolls in 73 polling stations in the reserved seat. But the Election Commission ordered repolls in six polling stations.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Deputy Chief Minister and also PCC president Gaikhangam Gangmei have been saying that the armed cadres of the NSCN (IM) have been carrying on the electioneering on behalf of the NPF candidate Soso Lorho. However the NPF refuted the charges.
Unlike the 2012 Assembly in Manipur the corcom the apex body of six underground organisations in the state is not boycotting the Parliamentary elections. The Assembly elections had witnessed violent incidents claiming some lives and injuring some others. Leaving nothing to chance the SOG has tightened the security measures. What is worrying the law enforcing agencies is that the insurgents manage to have the last laugh. All sections of people are keeping their fingers crossed since nothing has been predicted now.