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Saturday, 25 February 2017

Langurs guard polling machines in northern India

Langurs guard polling machines in northern India

Authorities in Moradabad city of India's northern Uttar Pradesh have deployed rented langurs to prevent monkeys from damaging electronic voting machines (EVM) stored at a warehouse.
Monkeys are a menace in some parts of India. They usually come in groups from the nearby forest area, scaring away people and causing extensive damage.
The grey langur, a giant monkey with a black face, is a popular antidote to the monkey threat and election authorities are using the old trick to scare away the primates.
District Election Commissioner, Zuher Bin Sagir, on Friday (February 24) said that the langurs were being used apart from a three-tier security system which includes paramilitary force and CCTV cameras.
"Monkeys and other animals stay there (near the polling machine warehouse) and arrangements have been made by the municipal corporation to keep them away from there. We also take the help of langurs to keep the monkeys away. All the electronic voting machines (EVM) and EVM warehouses are secure," said Sagir.
The langurs are a common feature in some of the office buildings and just one is considered enough to scare off an entire pack of wild monkeys.
Rats are also a major concern for the authorities and the municipal corporation is making arrangements to clear the polling machine warehouses of the rodents.
In the biggest democratic exercise on the planet this year, voting-in seven phases- is underway in Uttar Pradesh to elect a new assembly to govern the mostly poor state of nearly 220 million people that lies along the river Ganges.
Results for Uttar Pradesh elections, along with those in the states of Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur, are due on March 11.