Booze banned, borders sealed for elections

Published On: December 5, 2017 04:00 AM NPT By: Binod Subedi

BIRATNAGAR, Dec 5: Security has been tightened in view of the second phase of parliamentary and provincial assembly polls which will be conducted simultaneously in 45 districts of the country on Thursday. With the motive of conducting peaceful and systematic elections by preventing cross-border crimes, borders have been sealed from Monday evening.

According to the District Administration Office (DAO), Morang, a large number of security personnel have been deployed at the polling stations to ensure the security of voters, election officers and ballot boxes. Polling stations have been categorized into three categories: sensitive, highly sensitive and normal, informed chief district officer (CDO) of Morang, Ram Prasad Acharya. He informed Republica that there are 50 highly sensitive and 99 sensitive and other normal polling stations in Morang.  

A three-tier security has been arranged for all polling stations of the 45 districts. Security has been beefed up especially in the districts adjoined to the Indian border. As practiced in each election, borders have been sealed from Monday evening. The string of bomb attacks on political candidates and leaders have raised a lot of concerns in the recent days. Following such criminal activities, the government has mobilized a comparatively larger number of security personnel in the sensitive areas.

A joint committee of Indian and Nepali security personnel has been formed to patrol the borders. As per the officers of India's Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) and Nepal's Armed Police Force (APF), arms and ammunitions including IEDs have become the major threats to the polls in the recent days.

Likewise, the sale of liquor has been banned completely in all the districts taking part in Thursday's elections. District Election Office (DEO), DAO as well as various other authorities will be strictly monitoring the buying and selling of alcohol and alcoholic products in the 45 districts. In previous elections, shopkeepers were allowed to sell liquor till 8 pm and even the restaurants and hotels could open until that time.  However, that has been strictly banned this time. "Any kind of political argument and discussion may result into a dispute or clash which can disrupt the polls," said Ram Prasad Acharya, CDO, Morang, adding, "That is why we decided to ban alcohol completely during the elections."   

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