ITANAGAR, Apr 13: Stating that the returning officer (RO) of the Longkhau polling station under the Longding-Pumao assembly constituency in Longding district has recommended re-polling at the station, the NPP’s candidate for the assembly seat, Thanwang Wangham, has demanded that adequate security arrangements be made before conducting the re-polling.
Wangham on Saturday wrote a letter to the Longding deputy commissioner, demanding requisitioning of sufficient forces from other places and deploying them at the polling station to ensure free and fair conduct of the re-polling.
He claimed that “at least 30 underground (UG) activists are still active in the area” and are allegedly working for his rival BJP candidate.
Wangham said although the RO has recommended re-polling, he has not yet received any official order or confirmation regarding the conduct of the re-polling.
When contacted, the RO of the Langkhau polling station confirmed that he has recommended re-polling.
Wangham had earlier demanded re-polling at the Longkhau polling station, alleging undue interference by UG outfits during the poll day on 11 April.
In the letter to the DC, Wangham narrated the incident that had occurred on 11 April at the polling station, where he was allegedly attacked by “hundreds workers of the opposition party,” and how he had been able to narrowly escape the mob attack.
The NPP candidate informed the DC that his polling agent was not allowed to take his seat inside the polling station, which, he said, was in violation of the ECI rules and guidelines.
In his letter, Wangham alleged that his rival BJP candidate was “the mastermind of the entire game plan.”
He said 10 of his prominent workers were kidnapped, allegedly by UG elements, “at the instruction of the BJP candidate during the poll day,” and were kept away from the polling station.
“The assistant district election officer, who was sent to the polling station to resume the polling process after the polling was disrupted for about an hour, was a witness to the incident where NSCN (K) cadres entered the polling station and opened fire in the premises of the polling station,” Wangham stated in his letter.
Claiming that the district administration and the police were aware of all the happenings, Wangham said his repeated requests had fallen on deaf ears “only because of the fact that I am not an official candidate of the ruling party.”
He said unfortunate incidents, like those that occurred in Tirap district, “where two people lost their lives,” should not take place in Longding, particularly during the re-polling at Langkhau, due to security lapse.
“I also called up the chief secretary but failed to receive any positive response from him as the CS said that he was not the appropriate authority to look into the matter,” Wangham said.
He said he has also informed the chief election commissioner and the union home affairs ministry regarding the incident.