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Tura by-poll: 410 booths declared as hyper sensitive

People encouraged with slogans on power of voters

SHILLONG:  With the state is preparing to hold a peaceful by-poll on May 16 for the Tura Lok Sabha seat,  out of 410 hyper sensitive polling stations in the five districts of Garo Hills, more than half of them are vulnerable due to militancy related incidents.
However, amid the militancy scenario, the election machinery has initiated steps to woo the   voters with catch line like “Your vote is a great power and with it comes greater responsibility” .
The election department said that out of 410 hyper sensitive polling booths as many as 288 are in that category due to militancy. The remaining polling stations are hyper sensitive due to other reasons.
The most vulnerable polling booths in the entire Garo Hills are in East and South Garo Hills districts due to spurt in activities of militants.
The Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Kharkongor said that there are as many as 126 polling stations which are sensitive due to the possibility of group clashes and political rivalries. The remaining 409 polling stations have been categorized as normal.
There are a total of 945 polling stations all over Garo Hills.Kharkongor said that there are certain constituencies which are vulnerable due to elephant depredation for which assistance of forest department was sought so that the forest personnel can keep vigil during the poll.
Dual voters
To prevent dual voting in areas bordering Assam during the by poll, the election department has taken several steps including sharing the electoral rolls to the officials of Assam districts which share border with Garo Hills so that they can provide inputs on dual voters .
Kharkongor said that there are as many as 67 polling stations scattered in North Garo Hills, South West Garo Hills, and West Garo Hills which are sharing border with Assam districts.
Moreover, there are 46 polling stations especially in South Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South West Garo Hills which are adjacent to Bangladesh border.
“We have already sought the assistance of BSF to enhance security in the international border ahead of the polls”, Kharkongor said.
Power of voters
“With great power comes greater responsibility ” was one of the talked about lines from the  movie Spider Man and  now the Election Machinery in Tura Parliamentary constituency has decided  to inspire people in the constituency   with the same tag line of’ vote with responsibility’.
Returning Officer for Tura   Pravin Bakshi said that he is urging the voters to vote with the tagline, “Your vote is a great power. It comes with great responsibility”.
He said that the biggest power of people in India is voting and therefore people should vote   responsibly without thinking on the lines of community, religion and others.  The district administration is also publicizing the same line in the pamphlets and hoardings to woo the voters.  Bakshi, also said that the all efforts have been made to ensure that voting for May 16 takes place in a transparent manner.
Reacting to a query about the use of money power, Bakshi said that there is a video surveillance team with a sector magistrate and a police official deputed in all the 24 legislative Assembly constituencies and an elaborative monitoring cell has been setup under the   leadership of expenditure observer to ensure that there is no use of money power in the elections.

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