EC to set up special polling stations for voters in Manipur relief camps

IANS Photo

Imphal, March 2 (IANS) The Election Commission of India (ECI) will set up special polling stations in relief camps to enable voters displaced by the ethnic violence in Manipur to cast their votes in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, officials said on Saturday.

Election officials said that the ECI made this decision after consultation with the Central and state governments.

“As per past precedent of similar nature, internally displaced electors shall be provided with the facility to vote at special polling stations to be set up in relief camps,” an ECI statement said.

“An Additional Deputy Commissioner or an officer of equivalent rank or SDO (of the district in which the specified voters are staying) may be designated as Assistant Returning Officer for each district, as the case may be, exclusively for specified voters,” it said.

Voting in these polling stations will be conducted using separate Electronic Voting Machines for each parliamentary constituency.

The Manipur government is currently operating around 320 relief camps with more than 59,000 men, women and children staying in them.

At least 219 people have been killed, 1,500 injured and 60,000 displaced after the ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki-Zomi community broke out on May 3 last year.

The riots began after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status.