Security surveillance stepped up for elections

KATHMANDU: Security agencies have stepped up security surveillance in view of the elections to the House of Representatives and Province Assembly scheduled for November 20.

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 personnel.

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 elections are held in 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 said 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 said that the 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 elections. 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 past experience, have 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 the election code of conduct itself.

The Armed Police Force (APF), deployed in the second cordon in election security, has already mobilized the required number of personnel while some are in stand-by position to deploy on a 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 bases were set up in various locations and security personnel were mobilized in plain uniform.

Furthermore, 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, the 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 NA have set up separate base/unit in those places uncovered by the already set base/units, he said. RSS



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