The city has been put under tight security cover for the elections for the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections to be held on Thursday. The Deputy Inspector General (DIG), southern range, Amitabh Thakur and Berhampur Superintendent of Police (SP) Aniruddha Singh are monitoring the security arrangements for the conduct of urban body polls in the volatile BMC area. On Wednesday, the DIG and the SP held a meeting with the police officials who are in charge of maintenance of law and order during the polling process.
It may be noted that the BJD and the Congress, who had fought a high profile campaign battle in this only Municipal Corporation of the State which is going to polls on Thursday, had alleged that miscreants may try to stop voters from voting. Both political parties had pointed fingers at each other for it. It had made the election process volatile. A total of 109 out of total 218 polling booths meant for the BMC elections have been identified as hypersensitive. Eighty-nine polling booths of the BMC area have been identified as sensitive.
But no major untoward incident had been reported during the campaign process due to adequate security arrangements. Speaking to The Hindu , the Berhampur SP said, “No voters should have any fear in mind and come out to vote as we have decided to take immediate and exemplary action against any miscreant who would try to stop voters from exercising their franchise.”
One Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) deputed from Kandhamal district, eight Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSP), 13 inspectors and 83 sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors are in charge of maintenance of law and order in the city limits where elections are to be held. A total of 768 police personnel including 15 platoons of Odisha State Armed Police (OSAP) have been deployed in the city, said the DIG.
All hypersensitive booths would have two armed police personnel around. At the cluster booths, there would be armed police pickets. Twenty six mobile units of police have started moving around the city to strengthen the security arrangements. At 13 places around the city, vehicles are being checked to curb menace of miscreants. At 14 places, static forces are at place to strike immediately in case of any untoward incident. With the support of Andhra Pradesh police, patrolling has been intensified in areas bordering Andhra Pradesh to check smuggling of liquor into the BMC area.
A total of 109 polling booths have been identified as hypersensitive