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Police on alert to prevent violence


GUWAHATI, May 14 - With less than five days left for the counting of votes for the Assembly polls, the Assam Police has received specific inputs about attempts to create disturbances in several places, especially in Barak Valley, Nagaon and Tinsukia on May 19 (counting day) and thereafter.

Intelligence agencies have also come across a voice-clip which threatens to flare up communal tensions in several pockets of the State in the name of �jihad�. The voice-clip is being verified by experts.

Top Assam Police sources told this reporter that the threat inputs in view of the counting of polls will be shared in the operational group meeting to be held here on May 17.

Sources said that with the Centre already withdrawing 75 companies of additional forces from the State, the challenge will have to be dealt meticulously based on past experiences and electoral history.

Meanwhile, the Assam Police headquarters here has already alerted all the Superintendents of Police (SPs) about the intelligence inputs and asked them to remain on their toes.

�As the polls were keenly fought this time, compared to previous occasions, the intensity will definitely soar. The SPs have been asked to properly assess the situation, especially in constituencies that feature political heavyweights, irrespective of their party affiliation,� a top Assam Police official said.

�The polling centres are already guarded. We, however, believe that the anti-social elements could try to create problem which will be localised in nature. The SPs have been asked to conduct district-level meetings to assess the possible threat percept and act accordingly,� the official said.

�Moreover, as part of our strategy, no victory procession will be allowed to pass through sensitive areas, which will be earmarked soon,� he added.

Asked to comment on the security of winning candidates, the official said that the contesting candidates have already been given security cover and once the results are out, the same will be reviewed and wherever necessary, the security would be strengthened or withdrawn.

�As far as Guwahati is concerned, where most of the winning candidates will congregate, several restrictions might be officially announced in due course of time,� he divulged.

The election observers have already arrived in the State and they will be briefing the political parties on various dos and don�ts in view of the counting day.

The operational group meeting, to be held at Narengi Army Cantonment on May 17, will be chaired by General-officer-Commanding of 4 Corps and attended by the Director General of Assam Police, besides representatives of the Intelligence Bureau, Assam Police�s Special Branch, and other agencies.

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