Home » Gunshots, booth capturing, destruction of EVM machines and unprecedented violence mar 1st phase Lok Sabha Election in Manipur

Gunshots, booth capturing, destruction of EVM machines and unprecedented violence mar 1st phase Lok Sabha Election in Manipur

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Gunshots, booth capturing, destructions of EVM machines and unprecedented violence mar 1st phase Lok Sabha Election in Manipur

IT News
Imphal, April 19:

Horrifying scenes of gunshots, unprecedented violence, destruction of EVM machines, reports of booths being captured, and intimidation of voters mar the election for the largest democracy in the world.
I have been watching on Facebook and other media channels on YouTube. If it continues like this, as we are seeing and hearing… this is the beginning of the end of what we know/knew as Manipur,” said Jiten Khwairakpam, a concerned citizen of Manipur, sharing his thoughts after witnessing the disturbing scenes. Indeed, armed groups have reportedly been interfering in the election at various places since voting began today. These armed groups have also reportedly intimidated voters outside polling stations.
In one instance, two heavily armed militants were seen running amidst a large number of civilians, while Manipur police personnel present at the scene remained as mute spectators. In another instance, an IPS officer was seen being complained to by an INC candidate over their inaction regarding a commotion that occurred between armed groups at a polling station in the Bishnupur district.
At Thongju Assembly constituency, at around 8:30 am, approximately 20 individuals dressed in camouflage arrived at polling stations 5/31, located at the National Children’s School, Khongman Zone 4. Voting at Polling Station 5/32, at Khongman zone 5 Community Hall, was also disrupted for a few hours following interference by armed goons.
“When the voters of the area came to cast their votes, it was learned that the individuals in camouflage had already cast votes. The irate people later engaged in a heated argument with the polling officials and destroyed the EVM machine. At around 9:30 am, voters of polling station 5/32 also seized the EVM machine and destroyed it”, Imphal Times reporter said. Voting at Polling Station 5/32 was later resumed at around 2 pm however, no confirmation on Polling Station 5/31. The Superintendent of Police (SP) of Imphal East, and Assistant Returning Officers of Kshtrigao and Thongju, arrived at the scene and took stock of the situation.
Voting at Polling station 4/44 Bamon Kampu under Kshetrigao Assembly constituency has been disrupted following interference by armed goons. According to the Presiding Officer of the Polling Station, armed goons numbering around 20 came inside the Polling Booth and captured the EVM. Later, the armed goons threatened the voters who came out for voting. Angered over the action of the armed goons the locals gathered and protested the incident prompting them to destroy the EVM machine. The Presiding officer reported the matter to the CEO.
At Arapti in Keirao Assembly constituency, armed militants disrupted voting at polling station 6/12. At least 6 persons, including a female voter, were reported injured after the armed goons assaulted them for protesting the disruption in voting. At around 9:30 am, voting at the polling station came to a halt but later resumed after the situation was normalized by security forces. There are also reports of disruptions at polling station 10/1.
EVM machines at polling stations 10/6 and 10/7, located at Iroishemba Mamang Leikai under the Uripok Assembly constituency in Imphal West district, were also vandalized by irate voters who were denied voting by armed goons.
At Polling Station 3/11 opened at Sajet (A) Moirang Kampu under Khurai Assembly Constituency a, 75 year old person who came out to vote sustained bullet injury after armed goons who came to capture the Polling station fired rounds of gunshots after they were challenged by the locals of the area.
“5 armed men came in a car and entered the Polling station, they hurriedly came out after some youths challenged them. Later, the local youths chased them but those armed goons fired towards the civilians injuring a 75-year-old man”, a woman witness told media persons. Khoishnam Sanajaoba, the injured person was hurriedly evacuated to Raj Medicity Hospital where he was later declared out of danger. The armed persons escaped the scene.
Report reaching here lately said that voting at the Polling Station 3/11 has been disrupted after angry locals destroyed the documents related to the election. According to the Presiding officer, the confrontation occurred after the armed goons tried to pull up the INC election agent from inside the Polling Station.
A hectic confrontation broke out between a police officer and INC candidate Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, at Kyamgei Heibong Makhong High School in the Keirao assembly constituency over purported failure to address a complaint lodged by one of Bimol Akoijam’s agents. The incident reflects tensions regarding perceived lapses in security intervention, adding to the charged atmosphere surrounding the electoral process.
There are reports of election-related violence at various places, including Thongjao, Elang Khangpokpi, etc., in Kakching district.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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