The Supreme Court on Thursday, 25 November, directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to provide two additional companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to ensure free and fair local body elections in Tripura, news agency ANI reported.
Meanwhile, the Tripura civic elections, which began at 7 am on Thursday, recorded 43.53 percent of polling till 1 pm, an official of the State Election Commission said.
As per the top court's directions, the CAPF personnel are deployed to secure ballot boxes till counting of votes scheduled for 28 November is completed, news agency PTI reported.
The top court has also reportedly directed the Tripura State Election Commission, director general of police, and the home secretary to ensure that sufficient CAPF personnel were stationed at all polling booths and should the need arise, all polling officers have access to the CAPF officials.
The Union and state governments have been directed to implement the necessary security arrangements for the electoral process.
Earlier during the day, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) alleged that workers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were going around on motorcycles and intimidating their candidates.
“In the absence of the installation of CCTV cameras," the Supreme Court directed, "both the electronic and the print media should have unhindered access for full reporting and coverage of the election process”, Indian Express reported.
The CPI(M) and TMC have also claimed that not all voters were allowed to enter polling booths.
(With inputs from news agency PTI, ANI, and The Indian Express.)