One-lakh strong police force will be deployed: State Election Commission

The State Election Commission (SEC) has identified a record number of 12,669 villages as problem-prone where conduct of panchayat elections “may be risky” without adequate deployment of forces.

Out of these villages, 6,189 are found to be sensitive, 5,710 hyper-sensitive and 770 extremist-affected. SEC Commissioner P. Ramakantha Reddy and secretary Navin Mittal secured the details from district collectors and SPs during a video-conference they held with them on Saturday dwelling on the law and order profiles of the 21,441 gram panchayats for which the elections are being conducted now.

Mr Reddy told reporters that a 1.08 lakh-strong force would be deployed for conduct of the elections as law and order problems might crop up anywhere and anytime.

This force would include regular police, home-guards, and uniformed men drawn from APSP, Vigilance, Anti-Corruption Bureau and Legal Metrology.

Excise constabulary would be spared as they would have to take all the steps required to prevent use of liquor. He said the commission came down heavily on those making efforts to distribute money to voters and the cash seized during raids so far amounted to Rs.12.5 crore. In all, 10,799 belt shops functioning in villages had been closed while 10,115 cases were booked under various sections of Cr. PC and 96,217 people bound over.

Election code

Mr Reddy clarified that election code was not applicable to the relief work being undertaken by the government in flood-affected areas.