Superintendent of Police Pravesh Kumar advised local police and personnel from paramilitary forces to work hand-in-hand to make the election free and fair. The first company of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel assumed election duty at the SP's office here on Wednesday.
He told The Hindu that the company comprising of 84 CISF personnel from IOC Baroda in Gujarat would be initially deployed for pre-election duty. Their primary job would be to curb distribution of money or other gifts by candidates and political parties to voters.
They were advised to focus on intensive vehicle checking with the assistance of local police. Mr. Pravesh said that the personnel would be divided into groups of four to five persons and would be posted across all the six Assembly constituencies in the district. They would work in three shifts of eight hours each, he added.
A local police would be part of the team to guide them and avoid language problems. A Sub Inspector would head each of the teams. A DSP would supervise this operation – one each in all the four sub-divisions – whereas an ADSP would be in-charge of two such sub divisions.
While they have been asked to avoid use of force on anyone they have also been advised to inform the local police station or the DSP of that sub division if they came across vehicles possessing gifts or money or if things went out of control. They were instructed to seize the vehicle as well as the gifts or unaccounted money that raised suspicion of possibly being distributed to the voters.
On request made by the CISF personnel the SP promised to distribute local prepaid SIM cards for better communication between them and the local police. Referring to an earlier request made by the police, seeking additional strength for the poll duty, the SP said they expected more such companies in the next few days as the current local strength would be insufficient for election duty.
Mr. Pravesh Kumar expressed the confidence that the recent computerised randomisation method of allotting duty for police at the polling booths on the date of elections would be instrumental in curbing favouritism and malpractices. It would also pave the way to ensure fair and free elections with no room for personal bias by police personnel to any political party, he added.