226,000 security personnel to be deployed for local pollsThe government has decided to deploy 226,000 security personnel, including temporary police, for the local elections scheduled to take place on May 14.
The government has decided to deploy 226,000 security personnel, including temporary police, for the local elections scheduled to take place on May 14.
According to the election security plan finalised at a meeting of the officials from the Home Ministry, Defence Ministry and the security agencies on Wednesday, the Nepal Police will hold the command inside the voting centres and booths while the Armed Police Force (APF) will act as backup security. Similarly, the Nepal Army will be mobilised on the peripheral areas of the polling stations and the temporary police will arrange the voters in manageable queues.
“We have decided to recruit over 70,000 Myadis (temporary police), 70,000 Nepal Police personnel and 36,000 Nepal Army (NA) soldiers ,” said a source at the Home Ministry, adding that the additional requirement of security personnel will be filled by the APF.
Deployment of the NA for the election security, however, has not been formally approved. The Home Ministry is preparing to write to the Defence Ministry in this regard.
A meeting of National Security Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, should be summoned in order to decide on the deployment of the Army.
The supporters of Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN Maoist and CK Raut, an independent Madhes campaigner, have been identified as a possible threat to the election security.
“We are struggling to develop a detailed security action plan because it is not yet clear if the Madhes-based parties will join the elections,” the source said.
If the Madhes-based parties boycott the elections, the source added, we will have to adopt stringent security plan to ensure that the voting process is not obstructed, particularly in the Tarai districts.
Many districts in the Tarai have always been considered most-sensitive given the activities of armed outfits and porous border with India.
The Wednesday’s meeting was chaired by Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi. Home Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi, Defence Secretary Shreedhar Sapkota, Acting Nepal Police chief AIG Dinesh Chandra Pokhrel, APF Inspector General Singha Bahadur Shrestha, Chief of National Investigation Department Dilip Regmi, and NA Lt Gen Baldev Raj Mahat were attendance.