Assam liaises with Meghalaya police on poll security

Patrolling stepped up along border; extra personnel deployed

GUWAHATI: Assam police is closely coordinating with its counterparts in Meghalaya to maintain security along the inter-state border ahead of the second phase of panchayat polls on December 9.

Ten administrative districts, including Goalpara and South Salmara-Mankachar (which share boundaries with West Garo Hills and South West Garo Hills of Meghalaya), will go to the rural polls in the second phase.

Speaking to The Shillong Times on Thursday, South Salmara-Mankachar superintendent of police, Amrit Kumar Bhuyan, informed that a water-tight security apparatus was in place to ensure smooth conduct of the polls.

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“We have four-tier security arrangements in place, starting from the polling station, to the sector (group of polling stations), zones besides specific area domination by paramilitary forces. Patrolling has been stepped up along the border areas. We are liaising with our counterparts in the adjoining districts of Meghalaya to ensure security ahead of and during the polls,” Bhuyan said.

Elaborating on the four-tier security arrangements, he said that the single polling stations would be guarded by a constable and a homeguard while 67 sectors (gaon panchayats) comprising groups of polling station will be guarded by two to three armed constables.

“Besides, we have seven zones (police stations/outposts) manned by an officer at the rank of DSP or Inspector. The fourth tier will comprise assigned areas manned by paramilitary forces. So we are on full alert,” the SP maintained.

In neighbouring Goalpara, police have made three-tier security arrangements for the polls with the district divided into 12 zones.

Official sources said that additional manpower has been deployed in the police stations and outposts. In terms of patrolling along the border areas, a similar drill is in place with high vigil maintained with the help of additional police personnel.

It may be mentioned that some incidents of poll-related violence were reported from certain districts during the first phase. An AGP candidate was killed recently in Bongaigaon, which also goes to polls during the second phase.

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