India to rerun election in 11 Manipur areas amid violence

Published April 22, 2024
Belongings of a polling booth are seen after being set afire by a crowd during the first phase of the general election, in Moirangkampu in Imphal East, Manipur, India, April 19, 2024. — Reuters
Belongings of a polling booth are seen after being set afire by a crowd during the first phase of the general election, in Moirangkampu in Imphal East, Manipur, India, April 19, 2024. — Reuters

NEW DELHI: Amid reports of violence and damage to voting machines in the Manipur state torn by months of ethnic clashes, India will rerun voting at 11 polling stations in the northeastern state on Monday.

The main opposition Congress party had demanded a rerun at 47 Manipur polling stations, alleging that booths were captured and elections were rigged.

However, election autho­rities declared the voting void at the 11 locations and ordered fresh poll, the chief electoral officer of Manipur announced.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is forecast to win a rare third term on the back of issues such as Hindu nationalism.

Clashes among armed groups and attempts to take over polling stations under heavy security were reported on the very first day of voting on Friday in the Manipur state.

Despite the threat of armed clashes that have killed at least 220 people in the past year, voters turned out in large numbers.

Manipur has been roiled by fighting between the majority Meitei and tribal Kuki-Zo people since May. It remains divided between a valley controlled by Meiteis and Kuki-dominated hills, separated by a stretch of no-man’s land monitored by federal paramilitary forces.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2024

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