S. Vijay Kumar

113 companies of para-military forces withdrawn

CHENNAI: A special pay of one month salary has been proposed for all police personnel in the State in recognition of their work during the general election. Polling for the 15th Lok Sabha election that was held on Wednesday went off peacefully but for some stray incidents of violence.

Director General of Police K.P. Jain has forwarded to the Government a proposal recommending one month special pay to about 1 lakh police personnel. The suggestion was put forth by the Additional Director General of Police (Elections) R. Sekar.

“I have forwarded it to the Government for consideration. If approved, police in all ranks would be benefited,” Mr. Jain told The Hindu on Thursday.

According to police sources, employees of other departments engaged in election duty were entitled for special pay. Since the police were deployed on election-related work for more than a month, a proposal was made. Similar proposals have been initiated for the police in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Security remains

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) T. Rajendran said heightened security arrangements in the State would continue till counting of votes on May 16. A comprehensive security scheme was implemented to guard the 39 counting centres in all the constituencies. “The focus now shifts to counting centres where heavy police deployments have been made. But for authorised persons, entry to counting centres would be barred,” Mr. Rajendran said.

According to a senior police official, 113 companies of para-military forces deployed in Tamil Nadu for the election bandobust were withdrawn on Thursday. “The local police would provide security at counting centres. Adequate manpower has been earmarked for the purpose.” he said.

Ninety prisoners lodged in different central prisons across the State exercised their franchise by casting vote on postal ballots. Director General of Prisons R. Natraj said the Palayamkottai recorded the maximum of 25 votes following by the Tiruchi central prison where 24 votes were polled. A few women prisoners also cast their vote in the special prison for women at Vellore.

“Those detained under the Goondas Act alone are entitled to vote. Prisoners convicted or remanded on specific offences are not eligible. The postal ballots will be sent to the respective Returning Officers in a sealed cover,” Mr. Natraj said.