The Hassan district administration has identified 17 polling stations that are vulnerable to elephant attacks in Alur and Sakaleshpur constituencies. Forest Department employees have been deputed for election duty in the wake of elephant menace.

“By and large the menace has come down after 13 male elephants were captured and shifted. However, as a measure to avoid any untoward incident, forest staff will be deployed at all 17 booths. They will be armed with guns and crackers that are necessary to drive away elephants,” Deputy Commissioner V. Anbukkumar, who is also Returning Officer, told presspersons in Hassan on Tuesday.

Deputy Conservator of Forests Ganesh Bhat has deployed his staff to monitor the movement of wild elephants for the next two days.

Similarly in places where leopards are spotted often, the Forest Department has deployed two teams with tranquilizer guns and cages, besides other essentials necessary in the time of leopard attacks, Mr. Anbukkumar said.

Polling staff

The Election Commission has drawn the services of 9,837 employees in 2,196 polling booths in Hassan Lok Sabha constituency. Women employees have been allotted to booths located within the Assembly constituency, where they are working. “The EC had issued a direction that woman employees should not be deployed at far-off places. Each booth will be provided with drinking water and a first-aid kit”, Mr. Anbukkumar said.

Refusing to give the exact number of police personnel involved in the elections, he said paramilitary forces, rapid action force, local police and home guards would be involved.

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