KARNATAKA

Surveillance cameras to be installed

Shankar Bennur

This is part of bid to crack down on malpractices during corporation elections



Mobile squads to monitor security arrangements

Excise Department forms special squads to contain hooch menace



MYSORE: Security arrangements are being made for elections to the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) that will be held on September 28.

On instructions from the State Election Commission (SEC), the police have worked out several security measures, which, according to official sources, are uncommon for elections to urban local bodies especially a city corporation.

The police have been given a free hand to deploy necessary personnel and machinery for the conduct of election in a free and fair manner.

For the first time, surveillance cameras will be installed in hypersensitive booths and also in some of the sensitive booths. Election proceedings in each booth will be videotaped from morning to evening to facilitate the police take quick action in case of an emergency. The surveillance cameras will track down malpractices, if any.

The SEC has sent video cameras to the police for videotaping the proceedings and the police have identified technicians for the task. Also, the police will employ additional personnel to videotape the proceedings for their needs.

The police are already videotaping rallies, campaigns and processions. “We can identify unlawful elements in the congregations. The Anti-Rowdy Squad has taken many anti-social elements into custody,” police officials said.

Officials of the corporation and the city police have identified sensitive and hypersensitive booths and the list is likely to be sent to the office of the District Election Officer and the Election Branch. “We may get the list by Sunday evening. A meeting of all officials will be convened on Monday for finalising the measures to be taken based on the number of sensitive and hypersensitive booths,” an official at the Deputy Commissioner’s office said. Surveillance cameras, after consultations with the Deputy Commissioner who happens to be the election officer, will be installed in select booths a couple of days before the election. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) K.T. Balakrishna told The Hindu that the police were fully geared up to ensure trouble-free elections. A three-stage security strategy had been chalked out for the election. The first would be in force during the campaign, the second on the day of the election and the third on the day of the counting, he said.

Mr. Balakrishna said that rapid striking forces would be deployed a day before the election in sensitive and hypersensitive booths. Over 3,000 police personnel would be deployed on the day of the election. He said that 55 mobile squads had been formed to monitor security arrangements.

The Department of Excise has decided to conduct surprise raids and “nakabandi” at checkposts to crack down on supply of illicit liquor. Night surveillance at checkposts, inspection at wine stores, intense checking on the highway and raids on illegal liquor dens are part of the department’s action plan. In addition to regular squads, special squads have been formed to contain hooch menace.

Excise control rooms will be established at the offices of the Deputy Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner of Excise and tahsildar’s offices in the taluk centres. Excise officials can be contacted if illegal distillation and sale of liquor are noticed.

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