The Election Commission’s assurance of peaceful elections came a cropper on the first day of polling in Manipur when seven persons, including a CRPF jawan and four poll officials, were killed even as an 82% turnout was recorded on Saturday. DGP R Baral said a suspected NSCN(IM) militant entered a booth at Thampi polling station in Chandel constituency and asked officials to stop polling. When they refused, he fired at them. A few CRPF men rushed in and returned fire, killing the rebel. “Six persons were killed on the spot. An injured later died in hospital,” said Baral. Among the deceased was a minor girl who had accompanied relatives to the booth. It’s learnt that three Naga militants entered the booth posing as voters. While one began firing from a pistol and was killed, the other two escaped, said a source.
Thampi presiding officer Ibotombi Singh was among those killed. The minor girl who was accompanying her relatives was identified as Nanliu (14). The dead militant was identified as Benhenson Nulla. An identity card showing him as a teacher of a Dimapur school and a pistol were recovered from his body. Meanwhile, an IED was recovered near a Congress worker’s house in Sagolband in Imphal West.
Election Commission officials said barring this incidence of violence and a few other stray clashes, polling was peaceful in the Imphal valley. Elaborate security arrangements were made to prevent militants from disrupting polls. The EC deployed an additional 350 companies of CRPF besides 25,000 state police personnel. Army and Assam Rifles jawans were deployed for area dominance exercises.
Full Article: 7 dead, 82% turnout in Manipur polls – The Times of India.