For the first time in 15 years, insurgents of the ethnic KLNLF participated in the democratic process by casting their vote in central Assam's Karbi Anglong district.
Karbi Longri National Liberation Front chairman P Dili told reporters at a polling booth here that 41 of his cadres in two designated camps exercised their franchise for the first time in 15 years in the Assam Assembly elections.
As per the directions of the Election Commission of India, Dili said facilities have been provided in the two KLNLF designated camps housing 20 and 21 members each. "We feel proud to exercise our franchise to express our hopes and aspirations. We are grateful for this special facility to vote in our designated camps", he said.
The militant leader also said that the facility was provided to them as his outfit, after laying down arms last year, was cooperating with the security forces in their operations against extremists in the district.
Asked if he was satisfied with the security measures in the district, particularly in view of the killing of four CRPF men on Saturday by his breakaway outfit Karbi Peoples Liberation Tigers in the district, Dili said, "The measures are not as intense as expected."
The Election Commission had notified that the ex-militants lodged in the designated camps in Assam and having their names in the electoral rolls would be entitled to vote by postal ballot. The EC had also decided that the Assistant Returning Officers/Nodal Officers appointed for the various camps would be responsible for providing the required forms to the voters in the camps.
The sealed envelopes containing postal ballot would be dropped in the drop box by the notified electors of concerned Assembly constituencies as per the EC notification and after consultation with the Central Government.