Rs. 3.60 crore seized so far with the check-post at Tadepalli accounting for the major portion

Ever since the panchayat election schedule was announced, huge amounts of cash are being smuggled across the district obviously for influencing the electorate and other dubious purposes.

It’s as if the floodgates have been lifted as the money that was so far seized by the police during checking of vehicles crossed Rs. 3.60 crore with the check-post at Tadepalli accounting for a major portion of it.

Patrolling

Night patrolling has since been intensified at the borders and around sensitive areas to curb the movement of cash, and liquor which was also seized in a massive quantity at 20,300 litres.

Sixty four belt shops were closed but many more remain to be seized by the Prohibition & Excise Department. A close watch is being kept on wine shops and bars and restaurants to check violation of Excise rules.

Due focus is on Narsaraopet division in which most of the highly sensitive villages are situated. Polling for 355 village panchayats in this division is to be held on July 31preceded by Guntur (307 villages) and Tenali (348 villages) divisions on July 27 and 23.

With the elections fast approaching, district Collector and Election Officer S. Suresh Kumar instructed the police department not to take a lenient view of the illegal movement of cash and other material which could be used to sway the electorate and cause law and order problem.

As on Wednesday, nearly 7,000 persons were bound over to prevent them from vitiating the election atmosphere.

More than 600 villages have been identified as hyper-sensitive and sensitive and necessary arrangements, including deployment of Rapid Action Forces and Vajra vehicles, are being made for maintaining peace till after the elections are over.

Besides, the police personnel were given refresher training in handling mobs which pose a serious threat.

Meanwhile, Mr. Suresh Kumar has instructed the Returning Officers to withhold the results of ‘unanimous election’ of sarpanches on which complaints were made to the officers concerned.

Such cases will be dealt by the Collector himself in accordance with the State Election Commission guidelines. He also ordered that the Code of Conduct should not be violated at any cost.

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