Lok Sabha elections 2019 counting day: Centre tells states to keep police ready for protests, violence

The Union home ministry on Wednesday directed the state chief secretaries and director general of police (DGPs) to make adequate security arrangements for the counting of votes of the 17th Lok Sabha on Thursday. The ministry has asked the top officials of the states and the union territories to remain on high alert against a possible eruption of violence in sensitive areas during the counting of votes. The ministry has further advised the states and UTs to take adequate measures for the security of strong rooms and venues of counting of votes.

The alert comes in the wake of provocative statements made by some quarters in the society for inciting violence and causing disruption to the counting process. The 17th Lok Sabha elections were held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, 2019, to elect a new 543-member Lower House of parliament.  The counting of votes will take place on Thursday, May 23 across the country under tight security. The elections saw a slew of violence in different parts of the country. A sitting BJP legislator, who was also a party candidate, was gunned down by Maoists rebels in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand. Last Monday, another politician was killed by the NSCN (IM) insurgents in Arunachal Pradesh, while he was on its way to a party meeting in Tirap constituency.  

In another development, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik and Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, Army Commander of Northern Command, discussed security arrangements for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra this year. The meeting was held at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar on Wednesday. Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh briefed the governor about the overall security situation along the international border, LAC, LoC, hinterland and the operations being conducted by the Army.

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