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INSTILLING CONFIDENCE: Joint Commissioner of Police (North) M. Ravi (second from left), leading a flag march at Mannady in Chennai on Tuesday.
CHENNAI: A four-tier security arrangement is part of an elaborate bandobust scheme drawn up by the police for Wednesday’s elections.
Besides 113 companies of paramilitary forces, the State police have roped in personnel of the Armed Reserve, Tamil Nadu Special Police and Home Guards.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) T. Rajendran on Tuesday warned of stringent action against anyone indulging in violence.
“Instructions have been given to Commissioners of Police and Superintendents of Police in the State to take firm action against anyone attempting to capture booths or trigger violence. Though there is no advance intelligence of poll-related violence, we are fully geared to handle any eventuality,” Mr. Rajendran told The Hindu on Tuesday.
Vehicle checks and night patrolling have been intensified across the State. The police would check at random lodges, private guesthouses and marriage halls to keep tabs on the activities of anti-social elements. Besides election security, adequate manpower had also been deployed at vital installations, areas of public gathering and places of worship, he said.
Mr. Rajendran said the elaborate election bandobust scheme would cover sensitive areas. “There is no input of poll boycott by any organisation or section of people. There is a high level of security preparedness and we will ensure a safe, fair and free election.”
According to a senior police officer, a four-tier security system would be in place on the polling day.
While the paramilitary forces and local police would form the first ring of security at the polling stations, police pickets deployed at vantage points would be the second level of security.
“We will also have Striking Force personnel attached to officers from the rank of an Inspector to Inspector General of Police who will patrol polling stations. Mobile teams that will transport Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be positioned strategically to manage exigency situations,” he said.
In Chennai Commissionerate that has the largest number of 3,673 polling booths in the State, Commissioner of Police K. Radhakrishnan said 180 polling stations were identified as ‘hyper sensitive’. “We are deploying about 540 striking force teams led by police officers to cover 970 buildings that house the polling booths. The police will be able to reach any scene of disturbance within minutes,” he added. On the entry of armed security personnel accompanying VIPs covered under various scales of security into polling booths, Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta said armed security guards should not enter polling stations. “Vehicles carrying ‘Z-Plus’ and ‘Z’ scale category persons are allowed up to the boundary of the campus (building that houses the polling booth),” he said.
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