With memories of past poll violence looming large, the city police have thrown a security blanket over the sprawling metropolis, as they gear up for yet another civic election that is expected to be bitterly fought between the two main political parties.
Nearly 11,000 police personnel, including three companies from the Maharashtra Police, will be deployed across the city on Monday as voters come out to elect their Mayor and 200 councillors.
City Police Commissioner J.K. Tripathy said 102 persons have been held under the Goondas Act and 1,367 “anti-social elements” arrested as a preventive step and 567 cases registered since elections were announced.
Uniformed personnel will be on duty at every polling booth, he promised. “A total of 1,905 booths, including 58 in Tiruvallur district, have been identified as sensitive,” he said.
Charges of violence and rigging marred civic polls both in 2001 and 2006, with the latter being especially vitiated by violence, according to a Madras High Court judgment, which ordered re-polling in as many as 99 of 155 wards. And this time, too, the Madras High Court has ordered that all polling booths in the city be compulsorily video-graphed.
Senior police personnel would keep vigil in their respective police zones and monitor sensitive booths, Mr. Tripathy said. A total of 381 mobile police parties have been formed to assist zonal officers of the Corporation and their teams.
He warned of strict action against those who indulged in violence in any form.
Nearly 11,000 police personnel to be deployed; 102 detained under Goondas Act