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"Manipur Elections: Tight Security as Outer Manipur Goes to Polls Amid Tension"

A strong deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and state police ensures stringent security for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in Manipur, involving the remaining part of the Outer Manipur seat on Friday.

Polling in the last 13 Assembly segments under the Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency will occur on Friday, while voting for 15 of the 28 Assembly segments in the seat and the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat took place on April 19.

Election officials report that 4,93,751 voters will cast their ballots across 857 polling stations to determine the outcome for four candidates competing for the Outer Manipur seat, reserved for tribals.

Voters residing in relief camps due to prolonged ethnic violence will vote at nine special polling stations established in relief camps across various districts, according to an election official.

Meanwhile, polling officials and security forces have already reached their designated locations.

While the state's ruling BJP is contesting the Inner Manipur seat, it supports the Naga People's Front (NPF) nominee Kachui Timothy Zimik, who replaced sitting MP Lorho S. Pfoze, for the Outer Manipur seat.

The Congress-led INDIA bloc has nominated Alfred Kanngam S. Arthur.

Although two independents, S. Kho John and Alyson Abonmai, are running for the Lok Sabha seat, the primary competition is between Zimik and Arthur, both Nagas.

The Naga community has maintained neutrality during the ethnic strife between the Meiteis of the Valley and the Kumi-Zomis of the hills. Given the ethnic tension, campaigning for the two Lok Sabha seats—Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur—was notably subdued this time.

Political parties and candidates refrained from organizing public meetings, an unprecedented shift in the 75-year electoral history of the northeastern state.

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