Presentation on theme: "Presentation on Voters Education and Electoral Participation & Innovation in Security Management Parliamentary Election 2014 By Nitin Khade IAS District."— Presentation transcript:
Presentation on Voters Education and Electoral Participation & Innovation in Security Management Parliamentary Election 2014 By Nitin Khade IAS District Election Officer, 30 Kokrajhar LAC & Returning Officer, 5 Kokrajhar HPC
BACKGROUND….. Kokrajhar District has a long history of extremist, communal and political violence. Extremist, communal and political violence are interlinked. Each triggers the others & leads to chain reaction. Kokrajhar has several communal and political fault lines. (Photo)(Photo) Several extremist groups are active in the district. Some of the major groups are i) NDFB (S) ii) NSLA iii) KLO iv) BCF v) BTF vi) RVA etc. Around 498 people have been killed & several are untraced from 1987 and around 1,23,890 nos. of houses have been burnt or damaged from Large scale Ethnic violence between Bodos and Muslims in 1993 & 2008, Adivasis and Bodos in 1996 and Large scale violence took place between Bodos and Muslims in the recent past. (July and November, 2012).
Around 79 persons were killed and around 15,123 nos. of houses were burnt or damaged. Around three and half lakh people from this district had taken shelter in relief camps due to violence. Largest displacement of human population after the partition of India. It had national ramifications. There were intensified agitations for separate state for Bodoland and Kamatapur and counter agitations opposing these demands, after announcement of Telengana in July, (Photo)(Photo) There were also large scale agitations for demand of ST status for Koch-Rajbongshi and Adivasis. (Photo)(Photo)
In this backdrop, due to fervour of campaigning & electioneering, there was a strong possibility of occurrence of large scale violence. All these factors had the potential to vitiate free and fair polls, not only in Kokrajhar, but in the entire country. Keeping in view the above mentioned situation, an awareness program under SVEEP was initiated. The awareness campaign was aptly christened as The purpose was to encourage people 1) To shun violence. 2) To exercise their right to vote without any fear. 3) To express their will and be a part of the process of electing the Government of their choice, in a peaceful way.
5) To generate awareness, flex boards were put up throughout the district at visible locations. (Photo). Wide publicity (Photo)(Photo) 1) A catchy audio theme song was composed in Bodo and Assamese language with the help of local artists and launched ceremonially. (song & photo)(song & photo) 2) Attractive live drama based on the awareness theme, as recorded in the CD, was played out on a tableau for a month. (photo) (photo) 3) Half Marathon race. College and school students, general people enthusiastically participated. (Photo)(Photo) 4) Volleyball competition (Photo)(Photo)
Assam, particularly Kokrajhar is plagued by frequent calls for Bandhs, Road blockades, Rail rokos etc. In the year 2012, there were around 59 state wide bandhs and innumerable district specific bandhs. After creation of Telengana and in the run up to the General Election, Kokrajhar was plagued by frequent calls for Bandh, Road blockades, Rail rokos etc. Frequent calls for Bandhs, Road blockades, Rail rokos etc : 1) affect the maintenance of Law & Order, tend to create possibility of violence, which may lead to chain reaction. 2) could have prevented Government employees engaged in election duty from attending to their time bound election related works. 3) distract the district police and CPMFs, as they have to engage in Bandobast duty instead of counter insurgency operation against the extremists. It could have given an opportunity to the extremist to plan and execute terrorist strike and trigger communal and political violence. (Kokrajhar map)(Kokrajhar map)
4) could have disrupted movement of CPMF detailed for election duty in different parts of the country, as Kokrajhar has a very strategic location connecting rest of the country with entire North Eastern region. Large scale and timely movement of CPMF from North East to rest of the country and vice-versa during 9 phases, was part of broad election related planning for ensuring free and fair polls. In view of the above, to ensure free and fair election in Kokrajhar HPC and rest of the country, issued prohibitory order u/s 144 Cr.P.C., prohibiting any individual or any organisation from giving call for Bandh, Road / Rail blockade etc. As a result, thereafter there was not a single call for bandh, Road/ Rail blcokade in the run up to, during and till the election process was over.
After the voting and before the counting day, on 1 st of May, 2014, unknown gunmen gunned down 7 Muslim persons in Gossaigaon Election district, which is a part of Kokrajhar revenue district. There was an imminent possibility of flare up, as during electioneering, there was large scale polarisation between Bodos and Non-Bodos. Ethnic violence in 1996 had started in similar way. Polling in the last 2 phases of General Election was yet to take place. The violence in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts became a national election issue, as around 45 Muslim people were killed. It also had the propensity to trigger communal violence in the rest of the country and hamper free & fair elections. The ethnic violence in 2012, had started in similar way. NewsNews
Apprehending flare up, as DM, I immediately… 1) Requisitioned Army, Imposed curfew throughout the district.
2) Called District Level Peace Committee meeting at very short notice by inviting members through SMS, Made an appeal through media briefing and advertisement, mobile miking for maintaining peace and communal harmony, Called meeting of all security forces, political parties and contesting candidates.
Thereafter, no more violent incident took place in the district. Thus, ensured free, fair and peaceful election, not only in Kokrajhar Election District, but also played a part in conducting free and fair election throughout the country.