2,300 police personnel to keep vigil at Neyyattinkara

Two platoons of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) on Friday evening took out flag marches in three localities in the Neyyattinkara Legislative Assembly constituency which goes to the polls on Saturday.

The flag marches were focussed around Udiyankulangara and neighbourhoods where the police had anticipated election-related fracas and tension.

The armed men marched in order on either side of the road. The police on Friday evening detained a youth on the charge of carrying a sharp-edged weapon. They said they were verifying his antecedents and it was possible that he was carrying the machete as a tool.

Vulnerable, sensitive

The State police have deployed 2,300 policemen and women to keep the peace on polling day. The police have categorised five booths as vulnerable to election-related violence. At least 10 policemen led by two sub inspectors of police have been deployed at the booths classified as vulnerable.

Five policemen, led by one sub inspector, has been deployed in 69 booths categorised as “sensitive”. None of the policemen deployed at polling stations and booths would bear arms.

However, the police have kept on the stand-by highly mobile “striking forces” with armed elements to be deployed rapidly in the event of any violence.

The striking forces will be under the direct command of the District Police Chief and his deputies.

Mobile patrol

The police have posted pickets in 37 localities in the constituency. They will be supported by over 40 mobile police patrol groups. The policemen have been issued handheld video cameras to record all events necessitating their intervention or violation of the election code.

The Rural police have intensified night patrolling. The border of the Assembly constituency with Tamil Nadu and the rest of the district would be heavily policed. Patrolling officers would randomly check incoming vehicles for arms, explosives, cash and liquor. The Excise department has also been deployed in strength to prevent the illicit retail, hoarding or serving of liquor in the election area.

The police deployment, which commenced at 5 a.m. on Friday, will be scaled down only after Monday.