There have been several reports of assault on government officers on duty during the just-concluded simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections. This has forced the Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service Officers’ Association (APCSOA) to threaten that in future they may defy election duties if punitive action is not initiated against the assaulters. Allegations of involvement of government officers in elections are often levelled by all the parties. In a tribal state like ours, where clan politics is almost difficult to ignore, sometimes the involvement of officials in electoral politics cannot be ruled out. No doubt action should be initiated to stop such activities, but it is unfair to assault officers just because they do not bow down to the diktats of rival political groups.
Most of the government officials engaged in election duties perform their tasks sincerely. The people of the state should understand that these officials work under a lot of stress. Everyone knows that ruling party candidates, with the backing of the government, always try to influence the system in their favour. But still, the election officials always work hard to ensure free and fair elections. Taking the law into their own hands and assaulting officials only aggravate the situation. Election is a very emotive affair; therefore everyone has to tread carefully. Violence is not the solution to any issue. If candidates and their supporters see anything wrong they can always knock the door of the Election Commission of India, and also seek legal recourse. Come what may, violence should be avoided at any cost.