Security beefed up for elections

Temporary police personnel. (File photo/RSS)

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Security agencies have been stepping up security surveillance in view of the parliamentary elections due in 11 days. 

The voting for the elections to the House of Representatives and Province  Assembly is scheduled on November 20 in a single phase. Around 300,000 security personnel of three security agencies have been deployed for the twin elections. 

Among them 71,693 personnel are of Nepal Police and another 115,000 are temporary police. 

Similarly, a total of 75,000 personnel of Nepali Army (NA) and 35,000 of Armed Police Force (APF) are being deployed to ensure the election is held freely, impartially and peacefully. 

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, this time a huge number of security personnel have been mobilized for election security on the need basis. Spokesperson at the Ministry Phadindramani Pokharel shared that the election security was tightened evaluating the challenges in the polling stations. 

An integrated security plan has been implemented according to which security agencies will provide security in three different layers. In the first ring, Nepal Police will provide security while Armed Police Force and Nepali Army in second and third respectively. 

Nepal Police’s Spokesperson and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Tek Prasad Rai shared that election security plan is good and reliable. “Voters can cast their vote without any fear,” he said. 

According to him, some 28 small groups have announced to boycott the election. The security agencies are closely monitoring them, according to Spokesperson Rai. Nepal Police has mobilized its personnel in those areas which were not considered from the election point of view in the past. 

Police, learning from the past experience, has also devised security plans for contingencies, added Rai. Police conclude that it has become easier now that the Election Commission of Nepal has been actively following the compliance of election code of conduct itself. 

The Armed Police Force (APF) that is deployed in the second cordon in election security, have already mobilized required number of personnel while some are in stand-by position to deploy in need basis. APF will mainly provide security to the election offices, election officers and chief election officers among others.  

Spokesperson of the APF and Senior Superintendent of Police Purushottam Thapa shared that election security base were set up in various locations and security personnel were mobilized in plain uniform. 

Furthermore, a mobile patrolling is also being carried out by the APF security personnel while surveillance has been stepped up in bordering areas as well. The Nepali Army has already started monitoring in all districts as per the mandate given to it by the integrated security plan, said NA Spokesperson Brigadier General, Narayan Silwal. 

Prison, airports and other important infrastructures, earlier guarded by APF and Nepal Police during the election, are being guarded by the Nepali Army this time. 

Moreover, NA has been entrusted with responsibility to guard the printing of ballot papers and its transportation. Spokesperson Silwal shared that the Army had already made preparations for aerial surveillance disposing the bomb or neutralizing suspicious objects and explosives during the election. Also, the Army has set up separate base/unit in those places uncovered by the already set base/units, he said. RSS