Manish Gautam, The Kathmandu Post, 29 Nov 2017
Around 60,000 security personnel will be deployed in the eight districts of Province 2 for the second phase of the House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections scheduled for December 7, according to a preliminary security assessment report of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Deemed as the most sensitive province, the districts are likely to witnesses a thick presence of Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Nepal Army and Myadi (temporary police) in the lead up to the second phase of polls.
The initial estimates suggest around 29 percent of the total security forces will be deployed in Bara, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Parsa, Rautahat, Saptari, Sarlahi and Siraha. The government plans to deploy 218,000 security personnel for the second phase of elections. Around 20 percent of the constituencies fall in the eight districts.
Data gathered from all the eight districts of Province 2 show that around 45,000 police personnel, including 22,156 temporary police, will be deployed in the districts. Besides, around 1,200 Armed Police Force personnel will be mobilised as backup for the Nepal Police in the districts, with as many troopers from the Nepal Army manning the outer circle.
The number of security forces could be increased if revised assessments suggest worse-off polling stations need special attention. A security committee formed in each district under the respective Chief District Officer has the authority to deploy security forces as deemed necessary. Similarly, half of the polling stations have been deemed
as most sensitive that require special security arrangements.
The number of security personnel has been increased in these polling stations,
while backups are kept in place to avert any untoward situations. Data show that out of the total 2,164 polling stations in eight districts, 1,300 are deemed as most sensitive.
For instance, out of the total 303 polling centres in Bara, 121 are considered most sensitive while 97 are considered sensitive.
In Parsa, 74 out of the total 167 polling stations are categorised as most sensitive and 78 as sensitive. In Saptari, all the 208 polling stations are deemed most sensitive. In Dhanusha, 222 out of 327 stations are considered most sensitive and the rest as sensitive.
The ministry’s sensitivity analysis is primarily based on possible movements of underground outfits along the border with India and easy availability of firearms.
Meanwhile, an increase in anti-election activities by cadres of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal and supporters of CK Raut are deemed as security threats that might impact voter turnout in the elections.