ITANAGAR, May 20: The polling team en route to the Nampe polling station in Kurung Kumey district was reportedly ambushed by more than 500 National People’s Party (NPP) supporters near Langbang on Sunday afternoon, police said.
A police source in Koloriang confirmed the incident and said more than 500 masked men armed with daos, sticks and guns, “including AK-47 assault rifles,” ambushed the polling team near Langbang and snatched the electronic voting machines (EVM) and other poll equipment.
Nampe sector magistrate Rido Tarak has since lodged an FIR at the Koloriang police station, saying “the miscreants ambushed our team at around 5 pm.
“While doing so, they indiscriminately fired several rounds of bullets with sophisticated weapons, which included AK-47 assault rifles,” Tarak said.
The magistrate said the paramilitary force accompanying the polling team did not resort to retaliatory firing in apprehension of deaths and casualties on both sides.
This daily was unable to reach the NPP candidate for a comment.
“One platoon of CRPF and two sections of IRBn were escorting the polling equipment to the Nampe polling station, when the ambush was laid. Outnumbered by the armed goons, the security forces and the poll team surrendered the EVMs to them,” said a police officer from Koloriang.
The police are investigating the matter of illegal arms being in possession of the attackers during the ambush.
“The poll team has safely returned to Koloriang from Langbang,” the district election officer (DEO) said.
He said they are determined to conduct the fresh poll, as scheduled, on Tuesday, despite the ambush and the snatching away of the EVMs.
The DEO informed that an alternative team has been sent to Nampe through a different route, “and they might have already reached the polling station.”
The district administration and the police have reportedly taken adequate security measures to ensure successful conduct of the fresh poll in Nampe.
The Election Commission of India had re-notified the re-poll in Nampe on Tuesday after scrutiny.