Special Correspondent

Each police station will monitor an average of 68 booths

SALEM: The Salem City Police have completed all their mandated formalities for the peaceful conduct of polls in the urban limits of the Salem Parliament constituency on May 13.

Talking to The Hindu, IG of Police-cum-City Police Commissioner Sunil Kumar Singh said that 1,349 police personnel would be pressed into service for election duty alone under the command of the Police Commissioner, two Deputy Commissioners, an Additional Deputy Commissioner, seven Assistant Commissioners, 19 Inspectors and 1,028 officers of other ranks.

Apart from this, battalions of Central Reserve Protection Police (CRPF), Karnataka State Police and Tamil Nadu Special Police Force would also be on the move at the time of polling.

After delimitation the constituency has become highly urbanised with a total number of 684 booths located in 161 buildings within the limits of the city police stations.

The constituency has total of about 1,500 booths for 11.63 lakh voters spread out in six Assembly segments.

The Commissioner said that Ammapet Police Station had the highest number 161 booths under its watch while the minimum of 27 fell under the jurisdiction of Town Police Station.

“Each police station in urban limits has to monitor an average of 68 booths,” he said.

A total of 76 booths had been identified as ‘sensitive,’ and a blue print for special security had been prepared.

Besides, 30 units of striking forces, 46 mobile parties other than the flying squads from revenue department and 10 patrolling units, all under the command of senior officers, had been formed.

Each striking police would also include a paramilitary unit.

“In fact we have chalked out a comprehensive plan so that each booth can have a stationary paramilitary unit for added security,” the Commissioner said.

Simultaneously, the City Police had also initiated strong deterrent moves against active and dormant history-sheeters, potential trouble makers and noted rowdy elements.

It carried out a surprise storming operation during the whole night of Friday in which 44 active rowdy elements and 16 prohibition offenders were arrested and sent to judicial custody.

Lodges and marriage halls which could be misused by political parties for the nefarious activities at time of polls were also subjected to sudden inspection.

In fact the police had prepared itself for elections well in advance.

It had obtained security bonds from 588 history sheeters, petty offenders, rowdy elements etc., a majority of them now dormant.

Specific cases were registered against 85 active ‘criminals’ who were sent to judicial custody.

Pending non-bailable warrants also had been executed.

So far 29 had been detained under the Goondas’ Act including the seven notorious gangsters involved in the abduction for money case.

License holders had also deposited 432 weapons in police stations.

On the political front, the police, the Commissioner pointed out, had registered 184 cases against various parties that defaced walls.

The Commissioner warned that no party flag would be permitted within the 200 metres of a booth and issue of ID slips should be distributed beyond 200 metres.

No mobile other than for the poll and police officials, would be permitted within 100 metres and even the security personnel of candidates would not be permitted beyond 100 metres.