Assam police step up vigil along Assam-Megh border

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Shillong, Feb 21 (UNI) The Assam Police has stepped up vigil along the Meghalaya-Assam border for smooth conduct of March 3 Assembly elections in Meghalaya.

''We have enhanced coordination with our Meghalaya counterpart for better policing to ensure free and fair polls in the bordering areas of the two states,'' Assam's Additional Director General of Police D K Pathak told reporters.

Mr Pathak held a closed door meeting with Meghalaya Chief Electoral Officer P Naik. The high-level meeting here was attended by Assam CEO Hemanta Narjhari and senior police and other officials.

The initiatives taken by Assam Police assumed significance in the backdrop of National Security Advisor M K Narayanan assessing the overall law and order security in Meghalaya with senior security officials.

''We don't expect any problem, but we don't want to leave anything to chance,'' Mr Naik said.

''There was a need to take adequate precaution to ensure that there was no disruption (of peace) by inimical forces from neighbouring Assam and other organisations of the north eastern states,'' Chief Minister D D Lapang said.

Security measures were tightened following the frequent arrest of ULFA militants from the Assam-Meghalaya border areas.

''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 senior 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.

The Election Commission has declared 829 of the 1582 polling booths as 'hyper sensitive' and 'sensitive' during the coming Assembly elections in Meghalaya, an election official said today.

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.


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