Authorities take pre-emptive measures to discourage unnecessary movement to poll districts

Published On: December 6, 2017 05:45 AM NPT By: Kosh Raj Koirala  | @KoshRKoirala

KATHMANDU, Dec 6:  Amid fears that party cadres from the districts that witnessed the first phase of elections could move to other districts to unduly influence the polls, authorities have taken pre-emptive measures to discourage such unnecessary movement ahead of the second phase polls scheduled for Thursday. 

Highly-placed government officials said they are closely monitoring the movement of people to the districts witnessing the December 7 polls since Monday. Security personnel has stepped up checkings on the routes leading to the polling districts and interrogating suspects to ensure that no such movement takes place.

"Security personnel are told to stop the movement of suspected people to the polling districts. They have been told to stop such persons if they fail to provide convincing reasons to travel to those districts," said a senior official, asking not to be named. "Security personnel have also been directed to take suspected persons under control if they forcibly try to go to those districts." 

The move of the government comes amid intelligence reports that major political parties are pulling their active cadres from the districts that observed polls in the first phase to other districts witnessing polls in the second phase to unduly influence the elections. 
While the first phase of federal parliament and provincial assembly polls were held in various 32 hill and mountain districts on November 26, the remaining 45 districts are witnessing the polls in the second phase on Thursday.

Home Ministry Spokesperson Narayan Prasad Sharma Duwadi said they have taken all necessary measures to ensure that elections are held in a free and fair environment without any fear. "We have stepped up security checkings and regulated the movement of people to the districts witnessing polls on Thursday to ensure that no untoward incidents take place during the polls," he said.

Sources said security agencies have received intelligence reports that a large number of Maoist Center cadres from neighboring districts have already been concentrated in Chitwan district. As other parties are also similarly mobilizing their cadres to neighboring districts, security agencies have made an internal assessment that this could pose a serious challenge to the poll security. 

 Sources said police have stepped up searches in the suspected hideouts including hotels in various districts to ensure that there are no anti-poll elements hiding.  

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