The Delhi Police has beefed up security in parts of the national capital ahead of the May 12 polling and will deploy over 60,000 personnel, including the Home Guards and paramilitary forces, in total to ensure a smooth conduct of the Lok Sabha elections. Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik told PTI the force has chalked out a detailed plan according to the instructions of the Election Commission of India.
The deployment of force will be at polling booths and there will be patrolling by special reserve parties in vulnerable areas, the top cop said.
"The model code of conduct will be strictly enforced. There will be special watch on border areas to foil any attempt to infiltrate by anti-social elements to cause disruption. There will be strict vigil to ensure malpractices like liquor peddling and movement of anti-social elements with a purpose to influence voters do not happen," Patnaik said.
The emphasis will be on giving a prompt response to any complaint received, the Delhi police commissioner added. Anti-terror measures are also in place and special arrangements have been made to check sabotage of polling booths, including election rigging, Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) and also the spokesperson of the force, said.
The officer added that extra picket teams have been deployed in border areas too. "Briefings were held with the polling staff on dispersal of EVMs and the routes to be taken to ensure no rigging of EVMs happens on the way. Night patrolling has been intensified to check use of muscle power and money to lure voters," Verma said.
Praveer Ranjan, special commissioner of police (election cell), said there are 441 critical polling booths in the national capital which include densely populated areas, some of which have mixed population and criminally sensitive areas.
Adequate security forces have been deployed at identified polling stations with Quick Reaction Teams deployed for congested areas across the district in case of emergency, another official added. Flying squads and static surveillance team will closely monitor activities, the he said.
A police official said there are three facets to the security apparatus at places where Electronic Voting Machines are kept, border checking, and law and order arrangements for polling and counting days.
The officer said police will be involved in enforcing a "Dry Day", which will come into effect from 5 PM on May 10, and liquor vends will be asked to down their shutters. A close watch will be on vends near border areas until 6 PM on the day of voting, the officer added.
Another official said 39,000 police personnel will be involved in ensuring the security of polling booths along with 13,000 Home Guards. They will be supplemented by police personnel from the Police Control Room and the traffic unit along with 47 companies of paramilitary personnel, the second official added. Each company comprises 100 personnel.