Huge amounts of cash, liquor seized in poll-bound Assam

Guwahati, March 20 (IANS) With the Assam assembly polls round the corner, the Election Commission has so far seized nearly Rs.3 crore in unaccounted money and over four lakh litres of illicit liquor from across the state, officials said on Sunday.

Monitoring teams of the poll panel recovered Rs.2,95,47,834 in cash from different parts of Assam till Saturday evening, and 4,33,417.76 litres of liquor — both of which were allegedly meant to be distributed among voters.

Around 5.5 kg of drugs have also been seized.

Polling for the 126-seat assembly will be held in two phases on April 4 and 11.

According to the EC officials, there are 34 expenditure-sensitive constituencies and 401 expenditure sensitive pockets in Assam.

The excise department has already installed cameras in distilleries and breweries in Assam for monitoring the movement of liquor, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Siddharth Singh said on Sunday.

A total of 1,185 cases have already been registered over the seizure of the illegal liquor.

Siddharth Singh said the poll panel has asked the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police to intensify operations against illegal arms.

So far, 86 illegal arms and 333 rounds of illegal ammunition have been seized.

Additional CEO Gaurav Bothra said 599 candidates filed their nominations for 65 constituencies, which are going to the polls in the first phase on April 4.

“However, 13 nominations were rejected due to technical problems. There are now 586 valid nominations for the 65 constituencies,” Bothra said.

Monday is the last date for withdrawal of nominations.

The EC has appointed 47 expenditure observers, 396 flying squads, 378 static surveillance teams, and 126 video surveillance teams for conduction of free and fair polls.

Besides, six air intelligence units have been set up in airports to monitor all developments.

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