The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Election panel loosens cuffs

Guwahati, March 16: The Election Commission today hinted that it was willing to review the directive on execution of pending non-bailable arrest warrants against militants, particularly those belonging to groups that are in ceasefire or have been disbanded.

The Dima Halam Daogah (DHD), which claims to represent the Dimasa community, and former members of the defunct Bodo Liberation Tigers have warned of various problems if the warrants are executed.

Deputy election commissioner R. Balakrishnan said at a news conference in Guwahati that since Assam had “specific” problems, the poll panel would examine and give “due consideration” to a formal request or complaint from the state government regarding the directive on warrants against certain categories of people.

“Till this date, the state government has not informed the Election Commission about any problem faced by the former on execution of non-bailable warrants. During the last eight days, 2,291 non-bailable warrants were executed in the state. Altogether 21,000 warrants are pending, of which about 13,000 are more than six months old,” he said.

The commission’s directive to the government pertains to warrants pending execution for over six months.

Dilip Nunisa, whose DHD has a ceasefire with Delhi, said on Sunday that the peace process could be jeopardised by the execution of warrants against his compatriots in the militant organisation.

North Cachar Hills superintendent of police A.R. Laskar said there were 10 to 12 warrants against DHD members.

The Karbi Anglong district administration has to execute 1,500 warrants, including some against members of the United People’s Democratic Solidarity. Like the DHD, the Karbi militant group has a ceasefire with Delhi.

Balakrishnan said the main objective of asking poll-bound states to execute pending arrest warrants was to create a sense of security.

The official, who was here to discuss polling and security arrangements with the government, said adequate security arrangement would be made in each constituency to ensure free and fair elections. “All districts have submitted their master plans.”

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