Government to seek army choppers for poll
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 30: Chief Electoral Officer DS Poonia today told The Sangai Express that a proposal would be forwarded to the ECI to commission at least 4/5 army choppers to transport presiding officers, ballot boxes and other polling materials for the February 21 elections in the hill constituencies.

The first phase polling is scheduled for February 14 in the valley constituencies.

Poonia said the helicopters is necessary as presiding officers will face a lot of inconveniences if the ballot papers and ballot boxes are transported on roads, especially in the interior parts of the hill districts.

He further said that at least 20/25 armed personnel would be deployed at hyper sensitive and sensitive polling stations.

The respective DCs and SPs of the hill districts are yet to be submitting reports pertaining to the identification of hypersensitive and sensitive polling stations, he added.

A total of 248 polling booths spread across Senapati, Kangpokpi, Chandel, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Churachandpur were identified as hyper sensitive polling stations in the last Assembly elections held in 2000.The number of polling stations identified as sensitive then was 426 in Kangpokpi and in the other hill districts.

The CEO also said the State DGP is trying to work out the exact figure of security personnel that would be needed to ensure peaceful polling in the hill districts.