A 41-member election team visited Kra Daadi district of Arunachal Pradesh on April 27 for re-polling. On their way back, they were stranded due to inclement weather.
The team included 31 police personnel and polling officers. Re-polling had to be conducted in Zara polling station and surrounding villages following a complaint of rigging. Zara is part of the Tali Assembly constituency in Kra-Daadi district, which is near the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh.
They had to battle mountainous terrain and a dense forest to trek back to mainland in bad weather, according to a member of the polling team. The waited for a helicopter to ferry them back to mainland but due to non-stop rain the chopper was not able to reach them, the security officer in charge of the team Tasi Darang said.
Tasi 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 but our communication was 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 while climbing climbing mountains from Pipsorang to Jikke, Tasi 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 this further deteriorated our condition," Tasi Darang further 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," Tasi Darang said.