Sitaula promises special security measures for polls

Biratnagar, June 29:

Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula today said that special security arrangements will be put in place for holding the constituent assembly (CA) polls in free, fair and fearless atmosphere. In course of his eastern region tour, Sitaula told reporters at the airport here that the government would leave no stone unturned to hold the polls slated for November 22 in a free and fair manner.

He urged voters to exercise their right without fear. Terming the political situation of the country fluid, he said voters, by practising their adult franchise, will be stabilising the political situation of the country. He assured people that best possible security arrangements will be put in place for the polls.

He added that 10,000 extra personnel had been recruited in the Armed Police Force for the purpose of conducting the polls. Security arrangements for the CA polls will be entrusted to the APF chiefly, he said, adding that the Nepal Army will have nothing to do with the polls.

He said that the issues of the Tarai will be solved through talks. The government talks team is taking the process forward, he said. Political consensus is a must for solving the issues plaguing the country, he added.

Asked whether the government is letting off the Maoists caught with illegal arms, Sitaula said letting of such Maoists is out of the question. Anyone caught with illegal arms and ammunition will be brought to book, he said.

Regarding demands to ban the pro-Maoist Young Communist League (YCL) and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF), Sitaula said no organisation can be banned in a democracy. Any organisation that does something wrong can be brought to book, but banning it is out of question, he said.

Earlier, the Home Minister met heads of security agencies in the region and instructed them to tighten security keeping in mind the upcoming CA polls.

He also gave instructions to curb crime in border areas. Representatives of the trading sector of Morang district also called on the Home Minister and apprised him of their problems, saying that they expected him to outlaw the practice of calling bandhs and strikes.

The representatives also complained to him about illegal taxes being levied from vehicles on the highways and asked him to declare highways as a peace zone.