What happens to the election-related cases registered by the police in the city, now that the crucial part of campaign and polling is over?
The question assumes significance in the backdrop of police claims of cracking down on attempts to lure voters with money, liquor or gifts. The seizure of Rs.90 lakh from a person travelling on an APSRTC bus at Bollarum led to the arrest of the TDP nominee from Peddapally Assembly constituency.
K. Kamala, wife of former Minister K. Parthasarathy, who is the YSRC nominee from Machilipatnam Lok Sabha seat, was arrested a few days after Rs.45.10 lakh was seized from her while she was travelling on a bus at Vanasthalipuram. Criminal cases were registered in both instances, but the investigation is yet to be completed and charge-sheets filed.
In another instance, the Cyberabad police seized Rs.8.32 crore at Palamakula near Shamshabad from two persons believed to be agents of ‘hawala’ operators.
The police top brass maintained the possibility of politicians securing this to influence the ongoing elections cannot be ruled out.
Though crores of rupees were seized during police inspections at different places in the city, these cases attracted the attention of the public as prima facie evidence was found against politicians in the first two cases. Police suspect the role of politicians in the third case too.
Investigators invoked provisions of the Representation of People’s Act and the Indian Penal Code related to the bribing of voters, but connecting the accused with the alleged crime is the crucial task.
On the day of polling too, police slapped charges against some contestants on cases that include slapping the activist of a rival party, obstructing a police officer on duty from discharging their duty, and threatening polling agents.
How many of these cases will be taken to their logical end is to be seen.
Taking diversion could prove dangerous
Regular weekend checks by traffic police have come to deter people from drink-driving. Fines and jail terms for those who test positive during a breathalyser test, are making people stay away from the wheel after a drink. This has also controlled rash driving on the city’s roads and resulted in less number of accidents.
However, many drivers are now familiar with the timings and points where the traffic police look out for drink-drivers. Some have also been giving police the slip by finding newer routes.
“The main roads are not the only routes where accidents take place. Deaths from road accidents on internal roads of residential colonies and other areas are also high,” say voices from the public.
Surprise checks with breathalysers would surely rein in those drink-drivers running riot on the city’s internal roads or distant localities, they say. Proposals to intensify checks involving local law and order police were also mooted.
For some inexplicable reasons, the idea was shelved. Of the over 1,600 persons getting killed in road accidents in and around city, some are reported on routes where the traffic police had never conducted the weekend special drives.
Change in the timings and routes of the drivers would surely help in further controlling the accidents and saving lives, say many.