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Assam sounds border alert

- Measures taken to thwart Nagaland’s alleged attempt to set up polling station

Jorhat, Feb. 22: The Nazira subdivisional administration in Sivasagar district has tightened security along the Assam-Nagaland border to thwart any possible attempts by the Nagaland government to set up polling stations at a lower primary school on Assam territory.

Security personnel have been deployed at the school located close to the inter-state boundary, with the administration keeping a close watch. Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) activists, too, are keeping an eye on the area.

Nazira subdivisional officer (civil) P.K. Das told this correspondent over phone today that the Borholla LP School under Geleky police station was “well within Assam land” and the administration has taken adequate measures to prevent any attempt by the Nagaland side to open a polling centre in the school.

Das said security personnel of Assam police and CRPF have been deployed since the last few days and the nearest border outpost to the school — Hingibeel BoP — is on full alert. The Assam police battalion’s temporary camp at Borholla, too, is on alert.

The SDO said preventive action has been taken because during the last Assembly elections held in Nagaland in 2008, the neighbouring state officials tried to set up a polling centre at the school but was prevented from doing so.

He said Longleng district administration of Nagaland has not intimated Sivasagar district administration about any plan to set up a polling centre, nor has the Nazira subdivisional administration approached the other side. “We are taking steps on our own and keeping a close watch on the situation to prevent any fresh attempt by the other side,” the SDO said.

AJYCP state joint secretary Biswajit Tipomia said members of the students’ organisation, through its branch units, was keeping a close watch along the inter-state border.

He said the students’ body had submitted a memorandum to the Sivasagar district administration earlier this month to take adequate measures to stop any attempt by the Nagaland government to set up polling centre on Assam land.

In a related development, the Wokha district administration of Nagaland, bordering Golaghat district, has “clarified” to the Golaghat district administration that the Nagaland government was not trying to set up a polling station at Merapani Town LP School in the border town.

The response came from the Wokha administration after Golaghat deputy commissioner Sanjib Gohain Boruah sent a protest note to his Wokha counterpart last week over the alleged plan of the neighbouring state’s administration.

Several organisations, including students’ bodies, staged protests over the alleged plan of the Nagaland side after media reports published an Election Commission document of Nagaland stating the inclusion of the school as a voting centre.

Boruah confirmed to The Telegraph that he has received a note from Wokha deputy commissioner R. Vyasan stating that the administration had not initiated any process to open a polling booth.