Centre sanctions 50 cos of addl security forces for Meghalaya

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Shillon, Jan 23 (UNI) The Meghalaya government has got 50 companies of additional security forces for a free and fair Assembly polls, even as the state police enhanced coordination with its Assam counterpart for better policing during the coming elections.

A single-phase election of the 60-member Assembly will be held on March 3. Counting will be held on March 7. The filing of nominations will begin on February 8 and close on February 15. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is February 18.

State Director General of Police, Bijon K Dey Sawian told UNI here that the additional security forces were rushed to the state after a request to the Centre from the Home department.

''We requested for additional forces from the Centre and today the security forces were dashed off to the state capital,'' Mr Sawian said.

The state police force has also sought 'mandatory cooperation' of the Assam police to help conduct free and fair elections.

''The Assam police reciprocated and assured help for the smooth conduct of polls in the state,'' the DGP said.

Chief Minister DD Lapang had sought at least 45 companies of central paramilitary forces from the Union Home Ministry.

''There was a need to take adequate precautions to ensure that there was no disruption (of peace) by inimical forces from neighbouring Assam and other organizations of the north eastern states,'' the chief minister said.

Security measures were being tightened following the killing of a top ULFA militant, Madan Koch, in Garo Hills on Sunday last.

''We are apprehensive of a retaliatory strike by the banned militant outfit after Sunday's elimination of the ultra. This deployment of additional forces has to be viewed in that context,'' a top police official added.

Earlier, the government had asked the banned A'chik National Volunteers' Council (ANVC) not to interfere or get involved directly or indirectly during the Assembly polls.

Meanwhile, the District Magistrates of all seven districts in the state imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC prohibiting carrying of arms by public to ensure peaceful elections.

UNI RRK PL RN1734

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