Ri Bhoi [Meghalaya], Feb 26 (ANI): Polling officials with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and other polling materials head toward their respective polling stations on the eve of the Meghalaya Assembly elections, at Nongpoh, in Ri Bhoi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

Up to 900 voting locations around the state have been deemed vulnerable and critical ahead of Monday’s Assembly elections, according to the state’s chief electoral officer (CEO).
FR Kharkongor, CEO, Meghalaya said, “These 900 polling stations have had some past records (of violence).” Militant groups were active earlier in Garo and Khasi Hills region while a few untoward incidents were reported during previous elections.
To ensure a peaceful election process for the Assembly elections in Meghalaya, the Election Commission has deployed 119 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to the state.
“We have set up a total 3,482 polling stations. All preparations are underway and all 12 district election teams have made all arrangements for the polls and further preparation is underway. We had some minor issues in Garo hills where there was a clash between members of two parties at Phulbari in the West Garo hills district. But that dispute was resolved. We arrested 31 persons in connection with the matter. A few incidents took place in Shillong but the situation there is also under control. By and large, election preparedness is going on smoothly,” he said.
Moreover, Meghalaya’s international border with Bangladesh must be sealed until 2 March, per EC directive. The district magistrate of East Khasi Hills district issued an order stating that, between February 24 and March 2, any individual movement will be absolutely forbidden within a one-kilometer radius of the area’s border with Bangladesh. “It is necessary that the international border with Bangladesh must be sealed and movement to and from the international border should be restricted. If such unregulated movement of individuals between the two countries is allowed, then there is a likelihood of law and order problems and risk to human life, public safety and tranquility,” said the order copy.
The district administration of East Khasi Hills district has also imposed Section 144 of CrPC along the border areas.
The counting of votes in Meghalaya will be done on March 2 along with those of Tripura and Nagaland.