108 booths in Tripura identified very vulnerable

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Agartala, Feb 10 (UNI) The Election Commission of India (ECI) has identified as many as 108 polling booths as very vulnerable and 550 as vulnerable out of the 2,391 polling stations in Tripura.

Official sources said here today that the ECI reached the consensus after reviewing the latest intelligence inputs provided by the security agencies ahead of the Assembly elections slated for February 23.

As part of the poll preparations, the ECI has provided about 600 video and digital cameras to be installed at all the vulnerable and very vulnerable polling booths, according to the recommendations of the security agencies and Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF).

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Dr G S G Ayyanger told mediapersons here today that Tripura was the first state in the country to go polls with the latest version of the Electronic Voting Machines to ensure free and fair polls, which would totally preclude false voting or rigging.

''These machines will record the number of voters who cast ballots every hour, besides recording the electronic impression of voters' thumbs while it will have the capacity to receive three votes per minute and all the activities on the machines would be stored digitally for at least for five years,'' Dr Ayyanger said.

He informed that altogether 58 observers had arrived in the state and the rest would reach here by February 13, adding that a total of 600 micro-observers had already been deployed in the state exclusively for the polling date.

To ensure connectivity to all the polling booths, state election authorities would distribute about 1,600 BSNL SIM cards for all Presiding Officers and Polling Officers, while 600 SIM cards would be given to the CMPF which would be deployed for polling duties, he asserted.

Meanwhile, Deputy Election Commissioner R Balakrishnan is scheduled to hold a meeting with the election officials in North Tripura today as part of his three-day visit to oversee the poll preparations.

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