61,000 army personnel to be deployed for poll security, but Nepal Police will still handle crucial security matters
Around 61,000 Nepal Army personnel will be deployed at the “outer layers” of polling stations across the country to provide overall security arrangements in close coordination with Nepal Police and Armed Police Force during the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections scheduled for November 19.
According to the Integrated Security Plan-2070 issued by the Home Ministry to recommend the deployment of security personnel for coordinated security arrangments during polls, the army will be deployed for poll security at the third layer of the polling stations, after Nepal Police and Armed Police Force (APF).
Similarly, a total of 54,0000 Nepal Police personnel will act as a major security force responsible for providing election security while around 20,000 Armed Police Force personnel will be mobilised to assist Nepal Police for the same. An additional 40,000 temporary police would also be hired for the November 19 poll security and they will work under Nepal Police.
However, according to the ISP, Nepal Police would handle security arrangements in areas considered to be “highly sensitive” so as to lessen the impact of weapons in the election and to give the semblance that the polls are being conducted in a free and fearless environment. The sixteen districts kept under “highly sensitive” categories by the ISP are Rupandehi, Rolpa, Pyuthan, Taplejung, Kalikot, Siraha, Saptari, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Nawalparasi, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Dang, Bara, Parsa, and Kapilbastu.
This will also give an impression that Nepal Army is just helping out Nepal Police and APF for poll security due to lack of enough manpower for the same, security experts say.
However, army personnel will still be responsible for outer-layer security in most of the districts, will provide air patrolling and handle other responsibilities like bomb disposal.
Similarly, two mobile police units will also be deployed to patrol all 240 electoral constituencies across the country while a reserve force of 25 personnel in the district level, 35 personnel in the zonal level and 50 personnel in the regional level will be put in stand-by position to avert any difficult scenario during polls, according to ISP.
Meanwhile, National Security Council has already decided to mobilise the army during election to avert any untoward incident.
A meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) on Tuesday made a formal decision to this effect and recommend the same to the Cabinet.
The meeting, presided over by Interim Election Council chairman Khil Raj Regmi, decided to mobilise the Nepal Army as per the September 13 decision of NSC to approve the “Integrated Security Plan - 2070” for coordinated mobilisation of Nepal Army for the upcoming CA polls. nepalnews.com