Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 25
The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to provide two additional companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to secure every polling booth during the Tripura municipal elections that began today after the opposition TMC and CPI(M) alleged violence and intimidation of voters by ruling BJP supporters.
“We direct that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to provide additional two companies of the CAPF as expeditiously as possible, having due regard to the fact that polling has already commenced and in order to secure the polling booths so that polling can take place without any disturbance or dislocation,” a Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud said.
It ordered the State Election Commission, Tripura DGP and the state’s Home Secretary to ensure that all 770 polling booths were manned by a sufficient strength of Central Armed Police Force personnel, “to ensure free and fair elections”.
“In view of the emerging situation, we also order and direct that in the absence of CCTV cameras, both electronic and the print media should have unhindered access for full reporting and coverage of the elections,” the top court said.
It asked the Tripura DGP and the state’s Home Secretary to review if there was any additional requirement of further deployment and, if so, communicate it to the MHA. The CAPF personnel would remain deployed in securing the ballot boxes till counting of votes on November 28, it clarified.
75% turnout recorded in civic body elections
- An estimated 75.04 per cent of over 4.93 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 4 pm for elections to Tripura's 14 civic bodies
- Allegations of political violence were levelled by opposition party workers even as cadre of the ruling party denied the claim
- Officials in the State Election Commission said no clash or voting machine-related problem was reported from the poll-bound areas
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