Mizoram to seal borders for violence-free Assy polls

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Aizawl, Oct 25 (UNI) The Mizoram Government today decided to seal its inter-state and international borders for a peaceful November 29 Assembly election, free from the involvement of underground elements.

The decision was taken in a meeting of security and election officials, headed by Chief Secretary Haukhum Hauzel here.

The meeting agreed that the Central Para-military Forces (CPMF) personnel would man the borders to prevent militants' entry into the state. The meeting told the CPMFs to inform the state government as early as possible the number of additional troops they would require for the task.

Sandwitched between Myanmar and Bangladesh, Mizoram also shares border with Manipur, Assam and Tripura. Amidst this insurgency-torn neighbourhood, Mizoram stands out as ''an oasis of peace''.

The alleged Mizo National Front nexus with armed outfits of the neighbouring states during the 2003 elections had been one of the biggest political issues during the past five years.

It may be noted that the Mizoram People's Forum, sponsored by the state's largest church Mizoram Presbyterian Church, had been campaigning for violence-free polls, free from militants' involvement.

It had also sought the cooperation of NSCN-IM, the most influential underground outfit in the Northeast, towards fulfilling the goal.

Today's meeting also voiced serious concern over alleged intimidations from armed insurgent groups during the 2003 elections. It appealed to all the citizens to immediately report such incidents to police or CID for swift and stringent actions.

It also emphasised on awaring the public that such intimidations were against the Constitution.

Areas vulnerable to militants' threats, particularly Myanmar and Manipur borders, will be identified as hypersensitive zones in which heavy security forces would be deployed.

Four of the 293 polling stations in Aizawl district had been declared hyper-sensitive, while another 13 had been identified as sensitive polling stations.

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