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Security blanket for tribal council elections

A Correspondent
Agartala, April 30, 2010: The authorities in northeastern Tripura state have placed elaborate security measures to quell threats from the militants in elections to the tribal autonomous district council slated for May 3 next. Police as well as central and state paramilitary forces deployed in strength over a period till completion of the election process.

Meanwhile with elections knocking the door tension between rival political parties have added concern to the officials. CPI(M) cadres attacked state Congress chief Surajit Datta at Chalitachari in Sabroom subdivision, 75 km south of Agartala, Thursday night. Datta escaped but a number of Congress workers injured.

Congress supporters across the state protested the attack on party president who was due to attend an election meeting. Party leaders in a press conference Friday vehemently condemned the incident claiming they prevented own workers from carrying out retaliatory attack which could have created a fluid situation.

While police failed to book any culprit in connection with the attack on the PCC president and workers DGP Pranay Sahay assured massive security arrangements during elections. “Security has been beefed up in the state. We have identified eight areas where security forces already launched counter insurgency operation”, Sahay told newsmen.

He said the border security force (BSF) has also been put on alert, but significant arrangement this time is deployment Tripura State Rifles (TSR) to backup the BSF jawans who are manning 856km border with Bangladesh from 208 outposts.

Voting in 28 members tribal autonomous district council would take place in 1006 polling stations of which 91 indentified as hyper sensitive and 347 sensitive. The union home ministry has made two helicopters available to the state government for surveillance purpose and transportation of polling staffs.

All major political parties are in the fray while Congress and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) have snapped traditional alliance and fighting separately. The incumbent CPI(M) led left front is hopeful to stage a comeback to the council courtesy divided opposition camp.