500 masked men attack polling team, steal EVMs in Arunachal Pradesh
GUWAHATI: Close to 500 masked men on Monday (May 20) allegedly attacked a polling team in Arunachal Pradesh’s Kurung Kumey district.
The team of officials was going to Nampe polling station where a re-poll was scheduled on Tuesday (May 21).
The team consisted of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and two sections of the Indian Reserve Battalion.
According to media reports, the assailants belonged to the National People’s Party (NPP). The party is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Northeastern states. NPP holds 16 out of the 60 seats in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.
An FIR in this regard was also filed at the Koloriang police station by Nampe sector magistrate Rido Tarak.
A police source in Koloriang speaking to Arunachal Times, 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.
“The poll team has safely returned to Koloriang from Langbang,” the Kurung Kumey district election officer said. He said the Election Commission is determined to go ahead with the re-polling despite the attack and loss of EVMs. The officer said an alternative team has been sent to Nampe through a different route.
The poll panel had ordered re-polling at the booth in Koloriang constituency after allegations of electoral malpractices during an earlier reelection in April, PTI reported. Another booth in Tali seat of Kra Daadi district will also see re-polling on Tuesday.
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