Kathmandu, Apr. 14: The government is all set to deploy 165,000 security forces except the temporary policemen for the upcoming local body elections slated for May 13. With the addition of 100,000 temporary policemen, the number will be more than 265,000, which will be deployed accordingly in all 753 local bodies.
Besides the above numbers, the exact number of security personnel to be deployed from the National Investigation Department and other personal intelligence offices from the Nepali Army, Nepal Police and APF has been kept confidential due to security reason, the officials said on Wednesday.
A meeting of the Central Security Committee held on March 24 passed the 'Local Level Election Integrated Security Plan-2078' to deploy the army, police, armed police, National Investigation Department and temporary police to conduct the election in a free, fair and fearless environment.
According to the plan, the National Security Council had recommended the Council of Ministers to mobilise the army on March 31. A week later, Prime Minister Deuba approved the council's recommendation and sent it to the President for approval.
With the approval to mobilise the army by the President on April 12, a way has been opened for the army to deploy troops at all 753 local levels. According to the Security Plan-2078 BS, manpower will be deployed in the election to carry out the responsibilities assigned by all the four security agencies with a temporary police numbering 100,000.
Army Spokesperson and Brigadier General Narayan Silwal said that more than 71,000 manpower of Nepali Army alone would be deployed for election security soon. He said that the army would be deployed in the designated areas in coordination and cooperation with the District Security Committee and the office of the District Chief Election Officer. "In the local level election security plan, we have been asked to assign more than a dozen roles including security of ballot paper printing, transportation, prisons, airports and other important structures," Silwal told The Rising Nepal.
He said that the army was preparing to take responsibility as soon as possible by coordinating with other security agencies for the security of prisons, airports and other important structures. The army will also be deployed to transport ballot papers in the remote areas by air, along with ballot boxes and other election materials.
The Armed Police Force has been given the responsibility of providing security outside the polling stations considered to be very sensitive. The Armed Force will also be deployed for the protection of the Chief Election Returning Officer and his office, the office of the District Election Officer, government, public structures, and foreign diplomatic missions in Nepal.
In the past, the manpower of Nepal Police was deployed for the security of the Chief Election Returning Officer and the District Election Office. But this time, this responsibility is given to the APF as election is going to happen in single phase, Silwal said. The Election Commission Nepal (ECN) has fixed a total of 10,756 polling booths and 21,955 polling centres for the election.
Out of which, 20,945 polling centres have been placed on highly sensitive, 4,420 on sensitive and 3,391 on general from security risk and sensitivity perspective. According to Joint Secretary and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs Phadindra Mani Pokhrel, the areas of more than three dozen districts bordering China and India have been included in the highly sensitive list.
Similarly, SSP and acting APF spokesperson Kamal Prasad Tiusina said that 32,000 forces of APF will be on the election regions across the country. APF has been mandated to provide security of election booths, carrying ballot boxes after election up to the vote counting centres, mobile and striking security, which is about giving security to the public by making environment for its candidates to cast votes, security of the chief election returning officers and election returning officers and district election offices, according to SSP Tiusina.
Bishnu Kumar KC, SSP and spokesperson for Nepal Police Headquarters, said that 62,000 manpower will be deployed in the election this time. All security preparations have been made in coordination with the central security committee of the election, SSP KC said.