Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Booth rigging, violence mars Manipur poll

72.32 per cent in Inner, 61.98 pc polling in Outer constituency reported

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 21 Apr 2024, 2:58 am

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Mass booth capturing, destroying and burning of EVM and VVPAT machines marred the first phase of polling across various places in the valley area for the 18th Lok Sabha Election, 2024 in the 1-Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency.

Unofficially, a total of 68.62 pc polling in the first phase of Manipur election is reported till 5 pm. For Inner Manipur, voting was 72.32 pc while that of Outer Manipur it was 61.98 pc.  

As per reports, armed miscreants came in around five-six vehicles wearing black uniforms and forcibly entered some of the polling stations located in Imphal East and West district and conducted proxy voting.

In most of the polling stations where such incidents occurred, locals of the respective area damaged the EVM and VVPAT machines saying that there is no meaning for secret voting that has no democratic right.

When a team of mediapersons inspected various polling stations in Imphal East district, they found that EVM and VVPAT machines were damaged and burnt down at about 4 (four)!polling stations. The polling stations included 4/44 Pioneer Academy of 44-Bamon Kampu; 5/31-Khongman Zone IV; 5/32-Khongman Zone V and 3/11 Moirangkampu Sajeb Upper Primary School.

While interacting with locals of respective areas, most of them reported that some armed miscreants in black uniform forcibly rushed inside the polling stations and told the polling officer and other officials to get out from the room and the miscreants reportedly cast the votes one after another for around 30 minutes.

The polling officers of one of the polling stations reported that the armed miscreants in black uniforms came inside the polling station room and told them to remove the CCTV camera installed inside the room. After that they started casting the votes forcibly after the polling officers were sent out from the room.

After they left the polling station, an irate mob gathered inside the polling station and destroyed the EVM and VVPAT machines.

Similar incidents were also reported in other polling stations of the Imphal East district.

In Khongman area too, miscreants in similar black uniforms did the same thing following which an irate mob destroyed the EVM and VVPAT machines of 5/31 and 5/32. However, voting continued with new machines around 2:00 pm for 5/32-Khongman after the security personnel provided a token for each voter with a fresh vote.

Following the unprecedented attempt to capture booths and cast proxy votes in polling stations 5/31 and 5/32 of Khongman Zone 5 under Thongju Assembly Constituency, a team of Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) also inspected the two polling stations to ascertain the situation.

The ARO cross-checked the electoral roll at the polling to properly verify who had cast their votes and even instructed that the voting could continue.

Several voters, not satisfied with the debacle, protested in front of the polling stations demanding re-poll and to punish the armed miscreants involved in the incident.

One of the protestors whose vote had been cast by the unknown miscreants stated that security stationed at the polling stations just stood with their hands in their pockets as the miscreants barged into the polling stations.

He expressed suspicion that powerful hands were the ones pulling the strings and orchestrating the whole incident.

When asked about how many proxy votes had been cast at the polling stations, the ARO declined to comment.

Similar incidents occurred at Moirangkampu Sajeb polling station. However, when the irate mob tried to stop the miscreants from proxy voting, two of them fired towards the crowd in which one elderly person received bullet injury. The injured were rushed to Raj Medicity hospital for further treatment.

An irate mob destroyed and burnt down the EVM and VVPAT machines there.

Sources said that the culprit involved in the firing incident has been arrested which is yet to be confirmed.

Amid the various incidents of booth capturing, damaging and burning of EVM and VVPAT machines, former Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president Manoharmayum Barish Sharma dismantled a polling camp of INC candidate at Wangkhei Meihoubam Lampak in Imphal East.

The incident occurred at around 11 am on Friday during the polling hour of 1-inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency election.

It is reported that a team led by Barish Sharma came and started telling the womenfolk who were sitting in the INC candidate polling camp not to provoke tension while voting. It is reported that the team led by Barish started dismantling the chairs and placards and other items kept inside the polling camp.

In a video that surfaced on social media, Barish Sharma is seen threatening the person to stop recording video. After some time, Barish and his team fled from the spot following which polling in the area was conducted smoothly till 4:00 pm.

Meanwhile, in Imphal West district, EVM and VVPAT machines of 10/6 and 10/7 Iroishemba Upper Primary School were damaged by unknown miscreants who were wearing black uniforms by overpowering the state and central forces.

The incident occurred at around 11 am.

Later, an irate mob of the area gathered near the polling station, agitating that they want re-poll as they do not want to continue with new machines. Learning of the incident, Imphal West SP rushed to the spot and controlled the mob.

Till the filing of this report, it was not ascertained yet as to whether re-poll would be held or not.



First published:


proxy votingbooth capturinginner manipurls polls in manipurmanipur lok sabha election

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur


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