Staff Reporter

Police keenly observing activities of those who have political affiliations

PUDUCHERRY: Police have intensified their drive against habitual offenders as a preventive measure to ensure the peaceful conduct of Lok Sabha polls, Senior Superintendent of Police (Law and Order) B. Srikanth said on Tuesday.

Addressing a joint press meet along with District Election Officer G. Ragesh Chandra, he said that already several anti-social elements had been arrested and some of them were let off after filing a surety. “We are also planning to arrest some of anti-socials involved in heinous crimes under the National Security Act. All police stations have been asked to immediately update their list of anti-social elements,” Mr. Srikanth said.

The police were keenly observing the activities of the anti-socials who had political affiliations, he said.

On whether the force available with the territorial police was adequate for poll duty, Mr. Srikanth said that a decision to seek Central force would be taken depending on the candidates and identifying the number of sensitive polling booths. “We will take a decision only after a clear picture on candidate selection emerges,” he said.

Mr. Chandra said that they were also vying the option of utilising the services of NCC cadets. However, the cadets could be utilised only for maintaining queue at the polling booths.

On preparation for the polls, he said that except for the appointment and training of presiding officers, all election- related works had been completed. The Public Works Department and the Electricity Department had been asked to provide all basic facilities in all 850 polling and 50 auxiliary booths in the Puducherry region. Tenders would soon be floated to provide temporary shelters at the polling booths, Mr. Chandra said.

The district administration had obtained 1,200 electronic voting machines for the polling booths , he added.

A total of 5,300 fresh applications were received from residents for getting Electors’ Photo Identity Cards. The Election Department was in the process of issuing cards to 3,300 eligible candidates, he said.