Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) foiled last night’s attempts by local mobs to vandalise a strongroom that houses EVMs in two districts of Nagaland post Monday’s voting for 60 assembly constituencies.

People in the know of election management said that Border Security Force (BSF) had to open fire last night as a preventive measure to disperse a violent mob that surrounded the Koklak District Commissioner’s (DC’s) office and strongroom where EVMs were kept.

Due to political rivalry, local mobs having a strength of 100 to 200 persons, gheroed DC office in the evening taking advantage of the lack of electricity and set on fire tires and vandalised vehicles and other things, said officials aware of the incident. Given the apprehension that the locals might damage strongroom and DC office stated, the BSF jawans opened fire, officials. A person is believed to have died due to the stampede that followed after the locals started fleeing facing stiff resistance from the CAPF personnel.

A similar attempt was made in Kiphire district where the Police Armed Constabulary (PAC) of Uttar Pradesh Police resorted to lathi charges to thin out a crowd that also appeared to have assembled to create a law and order situation. Officials apprehend that the crowd wanted to create a scene that would have helped to raise demand for re-polling in both the districts that border Myanmar.

Tension continues

Owing to the deft handling of the situation by the CAPFs, the Nagaland government has decided to retain CRPF companies till March 12 to augment the capabilities of the state police. A CRPF officer was made a nodal officer for managing the deployment during assembly polls.

“As per the current assessment of the ground situation, there appears to be the likelihood of continuation of tension between supporters of political parties, candidates, villagers etc even after the election process is over,” Director General of Police Rupin Sharma wrote to Home Commissioner Nagaland requesting to retain the CRPF personnel. The CAPFs, deployed to the directions of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, were supposed to return after the election process gets over on March 4.

Repolling, meanwhile, took place at four polling stations in Tuensang district on Wednesday – a day before the votes would be counted.

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