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Strict vigil to be maintained along India-Myanmar border during polls in Arunachal: CEO

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Itanagar, Apr 1 (PTI) Security forces will maintain a strict vigil along the India-Myanmar international boundary to prevent any attempt by anti-social elements from across the border to disrupt the poll process in Arunachal Pradesh, a senior election official said on Monday.

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The northeastern state will go to simultaneous polls for two Lok Sabha and 60 assembly constituencies in the first phase on April 19.

"We will not seal the international border but maintain strict vigil so that anti-social elements do not sneak into Indian territory. We have directed the forces deployed along the border to conduct round-the-clock patrolling," Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pawan Kumar Sain said at a press conference here.

He said strict monitoring of the inter-state borders with Nagaland and Assam would also be ensured.

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"Our chief secretary and director general of police have convened several rounds of talks with their counterparts in Assam and Nagaland and resolved certain issues that cropped up during the 2019 elections," Sain said.

He added that the chief secretary on Wednesday convened a review meeting with his Assam counterpart and discussed border issues.

The CEO said the state election machinery has so far bound down 2,864 habitual offenders who had created law and order problems earlier during polls.

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"If any of them takes the law into their hands, they will be dealt with strictly as per the ECI guidelines," Sain said, adding that the election machinery in the state has so far seized 936 illegal firearms while 24,999 licensed firearms have been deposited so far.

The CEO appealed to the people who have not yet deposited their firearms to deposit those within four days or face strict action.

He said that Indian Made Foreign Liquor worth over Rs 11.5 crore have been seized so far.

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All the 37 inter-state entry points are under constant vigil, he added.

"We have announced April 19 as a 'dry day' and also as a public holiday," Sain added.

A total of 8,92,694 voters, including 4,54,256 women, will decide the fate of 133 assembly candidates along with 14 Lok Sabha nominees in the state.

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There will be a total of 2,226 polling stations in the state, out of which 228 can be reached only by foot.

A total of 588 booths have been identified as critical and 443 as vulnerable, the CEO added.

Counting of votes for assembly polls would be held on June 2, while votes polled for Lok Sabha would be counted on June 4. PTI UPL UPL ACD

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