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Copter service for Kokrajhar

Kokrajhar, April 11: Helicopter service will be used for the first time in Kokrajhar during the April 24 election. Kokrajhar deputy commissioner and district election officer Nitin Khade said they have been assured of a helicopter during emergency on the day of polling following a request from the district administration.

Sources said Kokrajhar has a history of largescale violence during elections and the administration does not want to take chances this time.

“The chopper will be used in case of emergency, said Khade, adding, “Kokrajhar constituency is a huge area with inter-state and international border, besides being a volatile area with many militants active groups.”

Kokrajhar Lok Sabha constituency comprises 10 Assembly segments, with the total number of voters at 15,00,958, out of which 7,70,172 are male and 7,27,831 are female voters. The LAC-wise figures are: Gossaigaon — 1,67,486, Kokrajhar West — 1,57,878, Kokrajhar East — 1,58,638, Sidli — 1,73,403, Bijni — 1,22,602, Sorbhog — 1,76,401, Bhabanipur — 1,19,171, Tamulpur — 1,58,468, Barama — 1,37,345 and Chapaguri — 1,29,566.

Kokrajhar SP Sunil Kumar said 130 polling stations have been identified as hyper-sensitive, 220 sensitive and 188 comparatively safe. There are a total of 2,049 polling stations in the constituency.

He said they have made adequate security arrangements and have divided the district into 14 zones and 88 sectors for operational ease.

He said a section of paramilitary forces would be deployed in each polling booth identified as hypersensitive.

Kumar said a joint naka checking by Bengal and Assam police is being carried out in the border areas. He also said the international border with Bhutan would be sealed 48 hours before polling begins.

Kumar said the police administration has already taken steps to ensure free and fair election.

He said preventive measures have been taken and security intensified, besides round-the-clock vigil in border areas to thwart criminal elements from carrying out subversive activities.

The SP said in addition to the existing 22 companies, three companies of the BSF have already arrived and more are likely to arrive before the poll day. He said four army units are also helping the administration.