Tight security vigil, fine weather boost turn out, slur on Commandos
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 23: Under tight security vigil, the third and final phase of the election to the 9th Assembly passed off peacefully at Chandel, though there were reports of sporadic clashes between supporters of rival candidates at the militants infested district.

Polling was held for the two Assembly segments of the district, Chandel AC and Tengnoupal AC.

According to a late night report, trouble broke out at 42/7 Kangshang in Tengnoupal AC when a voter identified as Hopeson Maring came in a bullet proof vehicle of Thoubal police commandos to cast his vote.

A complaint has been lodged with the CEO and the latest information said that the ECI is set to take action against the police commandos for escorting the said voter.

At 42/24 Phunal Sambung in the same AC, a BSF jawan opened fire disrupting the poll process.

Despite the tense situation, people came out in large number to exercise their franchise rights from 7.30 am.

�The polling tempo picked up well and the voters were keen to exercise their franchise rights,� said Returning Officer Norbert Disinang while talking to the media today afternoon.

To a question, the RO replied that there was a report that some suspected militants had stopped the people from coming out to cast their votes at a polling station at Tengnoupal AC.

Referring to the instructions issued by the Election Commission of India, Disinang said, �We have provided some vehicles to ferry the voters from Khengjoi area to the two newly designated polling stations�.

Apart from the tight security vigil, the fine weather helped the people come out to cast their votes.

�Unlike in the past, we are satisfied with the tight security arrangements,� said Dungkham Moyon, a young girl in Tengnoupal AC.

For good effect she added that the fine weather was an added bonus for the voters to come out.

However for certain people, casting their votes proved to be a tiring exercise as they had to trudge long distances to the polling stations.

At Liwas Changang Govt High School, polling station in Tengnoupal AC, 200 voters from Unapal village had to trek through treacherous terrains to cast their vote.

Similarly 52 voters of Sektai village in Chandel AC had to their daily chores to trek 3 kms to the polling station at Liwa Khullen polling station.

The fate of many prominent politicians including sitting MLA DK Korungthang, Marung Makunga, Chungsei Haokip in Tengnoupal AC and L Benjamin and Francis Huten in Chandel AC were sealed today.