Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the police to ensure a free and fair byelection in Alappuzha.

The Bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice C.T. Ravikumar gave the directive on a petition filed by UDF candidate A.A. Shukoor seeking police protection to some polling booths in the Assembly constituency. He also sought a directive for deploying Central forces in sensitive booths in the constituency.

The court issued the directive after recording the submissions of counsel for the Election Commission. The commission submitted that no vulnerable booths had been identified in the constituency.

However, as a matter of abundant caution to avoid any untoward incident, the district administration in consultation with the police had prepared a list of troublesome/ sensitive areas.

The commission in an affidavit said that 22 polling stations pointed out by the petitioner were already on the list of sensitive booths prepared by the district administration.