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SOURCE: IANS

Security along the international borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar will be further tightened in view of the upcoming Assembly elections in the three northeastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, officials said on Wednesday.

Tripura and Meghalaya share 856 km and 443 km international borders with Bangladesh, respectively, while Nagaland has 215 km unfenced borders with Myanmar. A senior election official said that the Border Security Force (BSF) that guards the India-Bangladesh borders, and the Assam Rifles, who are posted along the Myanmar borders, would not only intensify their vigil but also keep a in touch with their counterparts from across the frontiers to prevent any kind of illegal entry into India.

“Indian border guards convene meetings immediately with their counterparts to sensitize them to take a more vigilant approach considering the ensuing assembly elections in three northeastern states,” the official told IANS.

Three special observers of the Election Commission are now on a five-day tour in Tripura to review the February 16 poll preparedness and security arrangements.

From Tripura, the observers will on Friday proceed to Meghalaya, where the Assembly elections will be held on February 27.

The three special observers are Yogendra Tripathy, retired IAS officer of Karnataka cadre; Vivek Johri, former Director General of Police of Madhya Pradesh; and B. Murali Kumar, IRS officer, who was special observer in the Assembly elections of Gujarat (2022) and West Bengal (2021).

During the meetings with Tripura officials on Tuesday and Wednesday, the observers asked the senior security officials to set up at least three naka points (check gates) in each Assembly constituency and there should be three teams per naka for 24×7 monitoring.

“It should be ensured that every naka point has an arrangement of CCTV and there should be at least three or more Flying Squad Teams (FST) per assembly constituency. It should be ensured that vehicles being used by the FST shall have GPS facilities and the movement shall be monitored on a regular basis,” the official said, quoting the EC observers’ directions.

The observers directed that drones should be used for detection of marijuana plantations and other enforcement measures wherever possible, the official said.

The poll panel has so far deployed over 450 companies (each company consists of around 80 personnel) Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) comprising Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force in three northeastern states and more CAPF companies are expected to arrive in these states.