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Namakkal police on cyberspace to watch over counting centre

M.K. Ananth
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Cameras installed in all the six strong rooms

Namakkal SP Pravesh Kumar getting a quick online view of a strong room at the counting centre. -Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan
Namakkal SP Pravesh Kumar getting a quick online view of a strong room at the counting centre. -Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

In addition to the nearly 300 security personnel including paramilitary, local police and armed reserve personnel who are guarding the only counting centre for the six Assembly segments of this district–at Vivekanandha Educational Institutions for Women in Tiruchengode–police here have gone one step further to ensure foolproof security at the strong rooms.

District Police have used their technical expertise to install cameras for all the six strong rooms and monitor it live through online surveillance mode.

Superintendent of Police (Namakkal) Pravesh Kumar told The Hindu that 24-hour online surveillance was effectively functioning for past three weeks. “In this novel means of surveillance, we are monitoring the strong rooms and counting centre using a unique IP address, an assigned username and password anytime and anywhere across the globe,” the SP said.

While the Election Commission has made it mandatory for police officials to monitor the strong rooms throughout the day, the SP noted that online surveillance had helped them save the time it took to travel to the counting centre (more than 25 kilometres away from Namakkal town) in case of emergency and conduct surprise checks.

Net connection

All that was needed was a computer with internet connectivity, he said, and added the username and password was now available with him, the Inspector General (West Zone), Deputy Inspector General (Salem Range), Additional Superintendent of Police (Namakkal) and some other top election officials.

According to him, the cameras recording the happenings at the counting centres could be viewed by the Chief Election Officer from Chennai.

ADSP T.P. Suresh Kumar, who designed the working model of the online surveillance system, said the simple project cost only about Rs. 1.25 lakh. He said a total of eight cameras–six CCTV cameras for the strong rooms where the EVMs are kept and two doom cameras to cover the outer periphery of the building–were installed for this purpose.

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