ADC candidate kidnapped 85 are taking shelter in Imphal
Imphal, May 18: A candidate in the fray in the upcoming MDC (Manipur (Hills) District Council election in Chandel district has been kidnapped by some armed suspected undergrounds even as eight of them left their respective home fearing of befalling the same faith of kidnapping, official reports said today.
Meanwhile, a total of 85 candidates contesting the elections in ADCs in Naga dominated four hill districts of Senapati, Tamenglong, Chandel and Ukhrul were taking asylum at the Youth Hostel and Youth Centre at Khuman Lampak, Imphal with the expired of the deadline to resign from candidature set by the United Naga Council on the midnight of May 17.
Congress candidate in 13-Vomku ADC constituency, S Benthung Anal of Analkhul village of Chandel district was kidnapped by the miscreants on Sunday last from his native village.
Police suspected the kidnappers to be cadres of NSCN (IM) in the connection with the UNC diktat to the candidates to withdraw their candidatures. But, no claim so far made by any of the armed groups responsible.
After the kidnapping of the Congress candidate, eight other candidates of the party in the fray at different ADC constituencies have also left their respective homes without knowing their whereabouts, reports said.
Mention may be made that following received of threats and with the expired of deadline set by the UNC to resign from candidatures even after the last date of withdrawal of candidature over, as many as 85 candidates in the fray in ADC elections including two women in four districts were taking asylum at the secured place in Imphal provided by the government.
Thirty of the candidates taking asylum were from Tamenglong district, 26 from Senapati district, 24 including two women candidates from Ukhrul while the rest five from Chandel district.
Authority of the Manipur government, on the request of the candidates, arranged their saver shelters at SAI Youth Hostel and State Youth Centre at Khuman Lampak Sport Complex where personnel of the 2nd IRB guarding round the clock.
Police is also providing additional security in and around the two lodgings, said police source adding that the number of the candidates taking asylum is likely to increase in the next few days.
The polling in the six district councils in five hill districts of Manipur, having 24-seat each, is going to be held in two phases on May 26 and June 2 next. Hectic preparations are on to conduct the election smoothly, officials at the state election department said.
Polling will be conducted in only 70 ADC constituencies out of total 144 constituencies as state election commission had declared candidates in 68 constituencies as elected contested while no candidate filed nomination in six constituencies, the source said.
In the first phase, polling will be conducted in three ADCs of Chandel, Churachandpur and Sadar Hill of Senapati district.
In Churachandpur district, out of 24 seats, polling will be held only in 15 seats as lone candidates in the remaining nine constituencies have been declared elected uncontested by the election authority. A total of 53 candidates are in the fray for the 15 seats.
In Chandel district, no polling will be held at 12 constituencies as the lone candidates filed their nominations have been declared as elected uncontested. In the remaining 12 constituency, 40 candidates were in the fray despite strong threats of Naga based civil societies not to participate in the elections.
Eleven candidates in the Sadar hills had been declared elected uncontested. The rest 13 seats, 41 candidates are in the fray.
In Senapati district which the polling is to be conducted in second phase with Ukhrul and Tamenglong, no election will be conducted in 18 constituencies as in 12 constituencies where only one candidate each filed nominations declared elected uncontested and no candidate filed nomination in six constituencies. 26 candidates are in the fray in the rest six constituencies.
In Tamenglong, out of 24 ADC seats, after four seats declared elected uncontested, 63 candidates are in the fray in 20 constituencies while in Ukhrul district the lone candidates in 20 seats had been declared elected uncontested while 28 candidates are in the fray in four constituencies.