Andhra Pradesh

Prakasam police win over voters

Prakasam SP Siddharth Kaushal interacting with an elderly voter at a polling station in Devrajagattu, near Pedaraveedu, during the last phase of gram panchayat elections in Prakasam district on Sunday.  

Prakasam police endeared themselves to voters by extending all possible assistance to exercise their franchise in the fourth and last phase of gram panchayat elections held in Markapur revenue division in Prakasam district on Sunday.

Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal took the lead by visiting remote villages like Rayavaram, Devarajugattu, Jangamguntla and Thaticherla and helped create a conducive atmosphere for people to elect their representatives of their choice at the grassroots-level.

Penugonda Vengamma (87) from Devarajagattu village was overwhelmed by emotions while interacting with the SP as a group of police personnel brought her in a wheelchair to the polling station. The elderly woman affectionately addressed the SP as her ‘grandson’ as the latter squatted, greeted her warmly and reciprocated her gesture.

The SP responded by describing her as his favourite voter for the year 2021. “We will be always be at the service of people and extend assistance, especially to elderly people, to cast their vote,” he said.

A Dalit woman S. Bala Nagamma (50) in Jangamguntla village thanked the police. “Unlike in the past, when I used to fear coming out to vote, I came out boldly this time to cast my vote shedding my fear thanks to the confidence instilled by the police,” she said.

Similar was the experience of Katta Mariamma (54) from a Dalit colony in Taticherla village, near Kumarole. “I voted without fear now thanks to Prakasam police.”

Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Rafi of Kanche Palli village in Prakasam district, who is the Chairman of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Human Rights Commission, appreciated the Prakasam police for making foolproof arrangements for ensuring peaceful elections in the revenue division, an erstwhile Maoist stronghold.

He noted that the services rendered by the police during the COVID-19 pandemic was laudable. He also commended the decision to postpone the vaccination programme for the personnel, despite many on the force contracting the dreaded disease while enforcing the lockdown to ensure safety of people. Some of them had even succumbed to the disease.

The entire polling process was monitored from time to time with the help of state-of-the-art equipment such as drone cameras, body-worn cameras and CCTV cameras. Special forces like Andhra Pradesh Special Police (APSP) and Quick Reaction Teams were deployed to ensure smooth conduct of elections especially in the sensitive and hyper-sensitive villages, the SP said.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 9:38:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/prakasam-police-win-over-voters/article33897936.ece

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