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Arunachal police trek three days to remote polling stations to install communication setup

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ITANAGAR, April 18: In a bid to uphold the Election Commission’s commitment to leave no voter behind, Arunachal Pradesh’s Siang district administration has set up Very High Frequency (VHF)/ High Frequency (HF) stations in two remote polling booths to facilitate real-time communication through walkie-talkies.

Despite facing challenging terrains and communication barriers in areas categorised as ‘Shadow Zones,’ where no mobile or internet connectivity exists, the district officials have successfully set up the communication systems.

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As a testament to human fortitude, two signal-testing teams comprising 13 members, led by Siang Police and accompanied by newly recruited constables and porters, trekked for three days to Gasseng and Gate villages in the district to set up the communication system needed to communicate with the district headquarters regarding two-hourly progress of polling on Friday.

These villages, located 147 km and 153 km away from the district headquarters respectively, pose significant logistical challenges, with the last accessible road ending at Molo village.

The district has 17 such polling stations under Rumgong assembly constituency and eight under Pangin assembly seat.

Traversing through steep terrains and navigating dense jungles, the police team led by head constables Daniel Darang and Geny Bam reached Gaseng after a 12-hour trek from Molo village on April 14. The team then marched towards Gate on April 15 and the journey culminated back to Molo the next day.

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The signal trial of the HF sets established at Gasseng and Gate polling stations have been successfully conducted which has enabled direct communication between the polling stations and the district control room at Boleng, the district headquarters.

“Scaling peaks and negotiating narrow footpaths for three days, the extremely difficult and dangerous route truly tested our physical and mental tenacity. However, I am glad that our endeavour will yield positive results for these two villages and for the electoral process,” Darang said.

Commending the spirit of the team, DSP Sange Tenzin said, “The electoral process has become increasingly technology-driven. The absence of mobile and internet connectivity renders communication nearly impossible. This is an initiative to bridge the communication gap.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has appreciated the efforts of the officials in establishing VHF/HF stations at two remote polling stations in Siang district.

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“I salute the dedication and passion of election officials, who treaded challenging terrains to proceed to Gate & Gasheng villages under Payum circle in Siang District,” Khandu posted in X on Thursday.

In the festival of democracy, @ECISVEEP is ensuring that every voice is heard and every vote is important, even in the remote areas. The officials’ efforts reflect the core values of democracy and serve as an inspiration to all, the chief minister added.

In his message, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Lt Gen (Retd) K T Parnaik has appealed to voters to exercise their franchise in the simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls in the state on Friday.

“It is necessary that we all go to our polling booth on the day of voting and exercise our precious franchise,” he said.

Parnaik said the democratic foundation of “our nation is based on elections and all Indian citizens have the constitutional right to choose our leaders through voting.” (PTI)

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