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Manipur repolls today

Imphal, March 3: Security personnel will frisk voters before allowing them to enter the polling booths during tomorrow’s repoll in 67 polling stations across nine Assembly constituencies in the five hill districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Senapati, Tamenglong and Churachandpur.

More than 45,000 voters will cast their votes between 7am and 3pm tomorrow. Nineteen companies of the BSF, CRPF and the SSB will be deployed in addition to state forces for smooth conduct of the repoll. All polling and security personnel reached the polling stations this evening.

The repoll, which comes two days ahead of counting of votes on March 6, was ordered after 10 non-Congress parties urged the Election Commission to reject proxy votes detected in many polling stations. Earlier, a repoll held been in 34 polling stations on February 4. Polling in the state was held on January 28.

Thirteen of the 67 polling stations where repolls will be held fall under education minister D.D. Thaisii’s constituency Karong in Senapati district. He had alleged a day after the January 28 polls that largescale booth-capturing was carried out by supporters of Naga Peoples Front candidate V. Alexander Pou.

In Chandel constituency, where repolling will be held in 25 polling stations tomorrow, suspected militants had abducted two workers of Independent candidate S.S. Olish from Japhou Bazar in the district headquarters of Chandel yesterday. They were freed at night.

This morning, seven CRPF personnel on election duty sustained minor injuries when the truck in which they were travelling in met with an accident at Mongkot in Chandel district, police sources here said.

A source in the state election office said the Election Commission had directed that all voters should be frisked before being allowing inside polling booth to cast votes. “Female police personnel will frisk the women voters to ensure that no untoward incident takes place inside the polling booths.”

This step has been taken in view of the firing inside a polling station in Chandel district during the January 28 polling in which seven persons, including four polling personnel, one CRPF personnel, one suspected militant and a minor girl were killed.

At 5.30 this morning, an improvised explosive device of low intensity exploded outside the house of Elangbam Chand Singh, the Congress candidate for Yaiskul constituency, at Wangkhei here. No one was injured.