State Police headquarters has issued instructions to city police for ensuring smooth by-poll, writes R.Rajaram

Even as hectic preparations are underway for the by-election to the Tiruchi West Assembly constituency, the Tiruchi City Police authorities have been instructed by the top brass of the department to carry out certain measures to ensure that the by-poll is held in a free and fair manner.

In the run up to the October 13 by-election, caused by the death of Environment Minister Mariyam Pichai, the State Police headquarters has issued a set of instructions to the Tiruchi City Police, in whose jurisdiction the Tiruchi West Assembly constituency falls, for ensuring the smooth conduct of the by-poll.

The City Police authorities, who have already drawn up a comprehensive security plan for the forthcoming by-poll, have been instructed to conduct vehicle checks to intercept illegal movement of explosives especially by two-wheelers. Besides checking illicit fire arms, the law enforcers have also been asked to check lodges and marriage halls falling under their limits to look out for any unauthorised persons residing in those places.

The law enforcers have been asked to conduct surprise checks at regular intervals to restrain the activities of anti-social elements. While carrying out vehicle checks, the law enforcers have been asked to avoid unnecessary public harassment. In addition to this, the city police have also been instructed to conduct proper night rounds throughout the Tiruchi West assembly constituency, with a voter population exceeding 2 lakh. The recent directives from the State Police headquarters were driven home to the police officers at a meeting held here recently by the Commissioner of Police E. Ma. Masanamuthu.

Police sources said the Station House Officers of police stations falling within the city limit have been asked to execute pending non-bailable warrants and check transportation of illicit liquor in view of the by-poll.

A senior police official said five companies of Indo – Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel had been allocated for the upcoming by-poll.

The first of the five companies comprising 100 ITBP personnel arrived in the city on Friday evening. The sources said 75 out of the 240 polling stations had been identified as critical.