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EC satisfied over poll preparedness in Assam

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI, March 22 (IANS): The Election Commission on Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the poll preparedness in Assam, but asked the administration to ensure that licensed arms are deposited and illegal weapons are seized. It also asked the authorities to look into the movement of black money and effective deployment of central forces to ensure free and fair polls.

Led by Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi, the full bench of the commission was in the state for a two-day programme starting Monday.

Polls for the 126-seat assembly will be held in two phases - April 4 and 11.

"Central paramilitary forces have started arriving in the state from March 15. More will be sent depending on the necessity ahead of the polls. All central forces are being deployed for domination in vulnerable areas to boost the confidence of the electorate ahead of the polls," Zaidi told newsmen in Guwahati on Tuesday.

He said that on election day, all polling locations in rural areas and maximum polling locations in urban areas will be manned by central forces to be deployed by EC observers.

Over 23,000 of the total 32,000 licensed arms have been deposited in the state so far.

"When the EC visited the state in December 2015, there were 44,000 non-bailable warrants pending execution. I am happy to know that now only 4,500 NBWs are pending execution and instruction has been given to liquidate the same," he said.

Appreciating the election machinery, the CEC said over five lakh bottles of country liquor as well as cash amounting to Rs.7.12 crore have been seized till Monday evening from different areas of the state.

"The seizure of money this time is many times higher than on previous occasions," he said.

"Deputy commissioners and superintendents of police have been directed to keep strict vigil on the movement of illegal arms, ammunition, fake currency and unaccounted money," said Zaidi.

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