Meghalaya 2018

Meghalaya seeks more forces after killing of candidate

Meghalaya’s chief electoral officer has sought more forces for the troubled Garo Hills part of the state after suspected militants killed a candidate and three others Sunday night.

Jonathone N Sangma, the 43-year-old Nationalist Congress Party candidate for the Williamnagar seat, was killed in an improvised explosive device blast. Two of his bodyguards and a surrendered rebel named Bhaichung were killed in the blast too.

The Meghalaya Police said the needle of suspicion was on members of the banned Garo National Liberation Army, one of two active extremist outfits in the western half of the state straddling 24 assembly seats. The other group is Liberation of A’chik Elite Force.

Two more extremist groups — A’chik National Volunteers Council and People’s Liberation Front of Meghalaya — have been lying low for some time now.

“We have written to the Election Commission for countermanding election in Williamnagar assembly seat, a routine procedure when a candidate dies or is killed. The next date of polling for the seat will be announced soon,” Meghalaya’s Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor told The Hindu from Shillong.

“We have also sought more companies of central paramilitary forces for free, fair and fear-free conduct of election, particularly in the Garo Hills,” he said.

The state’s initial requirement for the assembly polls scheduled on February 27 was 107 companies of central forces. Threat from militants was the prime reason why 536 of Meghalaya’s 3,082 polling stations were considered vulnerable.

Possibility of voters being forced to vote for a particular candidate was cited for 444 polling stations being marked critical.

Nagaland BJP candidate escapes bid on life

The Nagaland unit of BJP has claimed that Mmhonlumo Kikon, the party legislator and candidate from Bhandari assembly seat, escaped a bid on his life near Yimpang village in Wokha district Saturday night.

“This conspiratorial attack at the behest of contending rivals is part of a disturbing escalation of violence against our party cadres. We appeal to the state election officials to investigate this attempted murder,” the BJP said in a statement on Sunday night.

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Printable version | Mar 20, 2020 6:54:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/meghalaya-2018/meghalaya-seeks-more-forces-after-killing-of-candidate/article22797483.ece

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