Around Three Thousand Security Personnel to be Mobilized for By-election 2024

  April 26, 2024 By: INSEC

The security committee has prepared to  deploy more than 3000 security personnel for the election to be held in Ilam-2 on 27 April. According to the committee, 1,523 from Nepal Police, 710 from Armed Police, 700 Nepali Army and 15 from investigation will be mobilized for the by-election . Additionally, the Nepali Army and Armed Police will be in the field.

Altogether 149 polling stations have been made across 79 voting centers for the election in Ilam-2. There are 42 wards in six local levels including Ilam Municipality, Mai Municipality, Deumai Municipality, Phakphokthum Rural Municipality, Mangsebung Rural Municipality and Chulachuli Rural Municipality in Ilam-2. Similarly, there are 1,15,889 voters including 56,869 female, 59,018 male and 2 from Queer community in this area.

The security agencies have considered the identity party as the primary threat during the election. In this context, the District Security Committee is conducting special surveillance to ensure that the party will not conduct any defensive activity to bring the outcome in their favor.  

Chief District Officer Indradev Yadav stated that all the polling stations in the by-elections are considered as highly sensitive. Having said that, the committee has strengthened surveillance especially in Mangsebung and Chulachuli. There are fewer challenges to the election based on religious reasons in Ilam. However, there might be attempts by identity parties to influence voters if they perceive the outcome will not be in their favor. This could potentially involve them threatening the voters. Yadav further stated that they are monitoring the situation regarding the challenges and assured that the election will be completed peacefully.

In the previous election, there were 19 highly sensitive, 21 sensitive, and 39 normal polling stations. This time, all the polling stations have been classified as very sensitive since it is the only area in the country where the by-election of the House of Representatives is going to be held. He added that there are chances of additional challenges during the election as the Public Service Election in India is also being conducted at the same time. Similarly, the mobilization of the security personnel is done on the same basis. 

Bhaktiraj Limbu of the identity party in an all party meeting on Thursday stated that the election will not face any challenge from their side and that they want the election to be held peacefully.

Spokesperson Bhim Prasad Dhakal of Central Police said that security management has been arranged by classifying the polling stations into three categories: normal, sensitive and highly sensitive. As per him there are 71 normal, 41 sensitive and 37 highly sensitive polling stations in Ilam. However, the District Security Committee Ilam has considered all 79 polling stations as highly sensitive.

Chief District Officer Indradev Yadav expressed that categorizing the polling stations as highly sensitive will help in managing potential security challenges arising from the infiltration of party members from neighboring districts.

President Ramchandra Paudel has given permission to deploy the army in the by-elections on 25 April. Police Spokesperson Dhakal said that the elections will be held in a peaceful environment with the coordination of various security agencies.

Similarly, the Police will have to be forceful if any violence, destructive activities including disputes between parties, interrupting the voters or damaging of the ballot boxes or ballot papers occur during the election. In the case of using force, the police shall take security measures by coordinating with the polling officers and after informing the command post of the district. In addition, Nepal Police will be responsible for protecting the ballot papers, ballot boxes, voter list, voting stamp and the personnel employed in the election. Moreover, the Police are all prepared to control the activities of opposition parties such as threatening, spreading rumors or bringing any obstructions during the election.

Manoj Adhikari