Tight security in place for local level elections

Kathmandu, June 27

The Ministry of Home Affairs today said the government had made foolproof security arrangements to ensure that the second phase of local level elections took place in a free, fair and peaceful environment.

Over 6.4 million people are set to cast their votes to elect a total of 15,028 representatives under the second phase of civic polls tomorrow.

Joint Secretary and MoHA Spokesperson Deepak Kafle assured voters that they had nothing to fear. “Reliable security arrangements have been made keeping in mind the current situation when some disgruntled political forces have threatened to boycott and foil the elections in some places,” he told mediapersons.

Kafle added that the government did not expect any untoward incident during the elections.  According to him, the MoHA has carried out comprehensive security mapping of each polling centre and location to chalk out strategies on the basis of threat assessment by revising the previous security plan.

The second phase of local level polls is likely to be more challenging than the first phase. The government has classified polling stations into three categories — normal, sensitive and highly sensitive — and deployed over 160,000 security personnel, including temporary cops. There are  8,364 polling stations where the second phase of civic polls is being held.

The first phase of elections was held in Provinces 3, 4 and 6 on May 14. Like in the first phase, Nepal Police personnel and temporary cops will be deployed inside the polling centres while Armed Police Force and Nepali Army will man the second and outermost ring, respectively, said the MoHA.

Arrangements of micro-observers and additional security forces have also been made for the polls. Security forces deployed for poll security have been authorised to open fire on any person or group resorting to violence.

Officials said regional administrators, chief district officers and regional and district police chiefs will inspect polling stations while helicopters will be used for aerial patrolling in sensitive and highly-sensitive areas. The government has announced public holiday tomorrow in Provinces 1, 5 and 7.