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Indo-Bhutan border to be sealed for polls

The Indo-Bhutan border will be sealed for 36 hours during the Himalayan country's general elections on March 24.

world Updated: Mar 19, 2008 10:26 IST

The Indo-Bhutan border will be sealed for 36 hours during the Himalayan country's general elections on March 24.

"The border along Bhutan and Assam will be sealed from 6 pm on March 23 to 6 am on March 25," the ministry of home and cultural affairs said in statement here.

The move is being taken to ensure safety and security during the National Assembly elections.

All travelers required to transit through Assam must reach their respective destinations in Bhutan before 6 pm on March 23, it said.

The Bhutan-West Bengal border will also be sealed from 8 pm on March 22 till 6 am on March 25.

Return journeys through Assam as well as West Bengal will be permitted only after 6 am on March 25, the ministry said.

It also cautioned people to avoid traveling through Assam in view of terrorist activities in the northeastern state.

The Bhutanese government will deploy additional troops along sensitive areas to check the movement of northeast rebels.

Sources said India has deployed additional police forces along border areas, identified by both the governments, to check infiltration of rebel groups and anti-social elements into Bhutan.

Bhutanese will vote on March 24 to elect 75 representatives of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament.