The EC team which was trapped for 19 days during re-polls in Arunachal.  Photo/ANI
The EC team which was trapped for 19 days during re-polls in Arunachal. Photo/ANI

Arunachal: EC team recounts ardous journey to conduct re-poll, trek back to deposit EVMs

By Joymala Bagchi | ANI | Updated: Jun 14, 2019 14:03 IST

New Delhi [India], June 14 (ANI): An election team deputed to conduct re-polling in some of the remotest villages near the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh had to battle mountainous terrain and a dense forest to trek back to mainland after inclement weather left the team stranded, according to a member of the polling team.
A 41-member election team that helped conduct repolling for 498 voters in Zara and surrounding villages waited for a helicopter to ferry them back to mainland but due to non-stop rain the chopper was not able to reach them, according to Tasi Darang, the security officer in charge of the team.
The team including 31 police personnel and polling officers went to Kra Daadi district of Arunachal Pradesh on April 27 following a complaint of rigging and hence, re-polling had to be conducted in Zara polling station there.
Darang said: "After conducting the poll on April 27, the entire team kept waiting for the helicopter but due to incessant rain no help came. We waited with all kind of communication cut-off from the world. Our rations began to deplete on May 16 and we decided to begin trekking after waiting for 19 days."
The most difficult part of the journey was from Pipsorang to Jikke, while climbing mountains, Darang added.
The team had to trek mountains and a dense forest in the most adverse condition. A few members from the team fell sick and the group's morale was gradually dipping, the security officer recounted.
"Leeches and insects sucked our blood and we bore with it because we somehow wanted to reach our destination. We faced an acute scarcity of drinking water that further deteriorated our condition," Darang said.
"It was a tough job to manage the whole team. Many complained about health issues. We used to boost up each other by playing games and talking and briefing jawans continuously," he said.
The team managed to reach Ziro before the counting day and deposited the electronic voting machines in the strong room there.
"I'm always ready as a true citizen and government servant to take the pain again for my country if required," Darang said. (ANI)