New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday (November 25) directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide two additional companies of Central Armed Police Forces to ensure free and fair civic polls in Tripura.

The apex court also asked the Centre and Tripura govt to ensure necessary arrangements to ensure the safety of ballots and counting of votes.

Notably, voting for Tripura Municipal Elections is underway. As many as 770 polling stations have been established across the state for the civic polls, according to State Election Commission.

Tensions in Tripura have increased after violent incidents in the run-up to the elections to the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and 12 other municipal bodies.

On Wednesday, Communist Party of India (Marxist) state secretary Jitendra Chaudhury wrote to Tripura’s Director-General of Police, requesting him to take the appropriate actions against the alleged terror tactics adopted by the miscreants/outsiders inside the poll-bound Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Agartala Municipal Corporation areas at the behest of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Trinamool Congress Tripura unit Steering Committee head Subal Bhowmik has also expressed apprehensions over free and fair polls. 

Subal Bhowmik alleged that the police continue to be a mute spectator on the incidents of violence against party candidates while lamenting that the Election Commission has not arranged voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras for the polls.

On Tuesday, the apex had refused the plea of All India Trinamool Congress to postpone the Tripura local body elections scheduled on November 25 but directed the police to increase the security arrangements for conducting free and fair polls and the declaration of results.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) is staging a protest outside West Agartala Police Station claiming their candidates are not being allowed to enter booths, polling agents are being attacked and many voters are not being able to cast their vote. Party workers demand immediate police intervention.

(With Agency Inputs)

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