1,600 special police officers to be recruited for polls

The Ernakulam Rural police have initiated steps to select special police officers drawn from the public to assist the force in the smooth conduct of the forthcoming Assembly polls.

NCC cadets, retired police, excise, fire force, military and paramilitary officers, and those aged above 18 years who have received training under the Student Police Cadet programme can apply.

“While deploying special police officers for polling booth duty is a routine exercise during every election, it assumes added significance this time, as the number of polling booths has almost been doubled in compliance with the COVID protocol. An estimated 3,000-4,000 police personnel will be required for deployment during this election, and any shortfall will be made up by special police officers,” said K. Karthik, District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural).

Around 1,661 special police officers may have to be recruited this time with the number of polling booths going up from 1,518 in the last Assembly polls to 2,590 in this election.

The special police officers will be deployed for two days - on the day before and on the polling day. Their primary duty will be organising queues at polling booths and crowd management and will act fully according to the direction of the police.

The Special Branch will probe the antecedents of the applicants and only those with clean records will be roped in.

The chosen persons will be given training and remunerated at a rate fixed by the government.

Those interested may apply at the nearest police station with copies of the Aadhaar card and bank passbook.

Poll preparedness

Meanwhile, the Rural police have stepped up election preparedness. “We have identified nearly 2,000 trouble-mongers with past history. We have requested Revenue Divisional Officers to speed up hearings and to execute bonds eliciting guarantees from them not to make any trouble during the election period. Those violating the bond conditions will be thrown behind bars. Besides, we are also invoking the Kerala Anti-social Activities Prevention Act to oust people from our limits and resorting to preventive detentions,” said Mr. Karthik.

The police have also intensified patrolling and vehicle checking to pre-empt movement of contraband, including illegal spirit, cash, and even drugs. Assistance will also be made available in the delivery of postal ballots.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 9:49:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/1600-special-police-officers-to-be-recruited-for-polls/article34001081.ece

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