To stem the flow of liquor and cash during the Lok Sabha (LS) elections, and for effective monitoring of the poll process, the Chandigarh election department has constituted flying squads and static surveillance teams.
Eleven flying squads have been constituted under each police station here for assisting the department in implementing the model code of conduct. These squads will remain functional till the completion of polls. The election for the lone LS seat in Chandigarh is scheduled to be held on April 10.
The flying squads are headed by officials with executive magisterial power and comprise police officials, and video graphers for recording all their activities on a daily basis.
The squads have been entrusted with the responsibility to attend to all complaints of threat, intimidation, movement of anti-social elements, liquor, arms and ammunition, and large sum of cash for the purpose of bribing of electors. The squads have also been assigned the task of videography of all major rallies, public meetings, and other major expenses made by political parties.
Joint chief election officer Tilak Raj said, "Whenever a complaint regarding distribution of cash and liquor is received, the flying squad has to reach the spot and take necessary actions."
Each team has to submit a report in respect of seizers made on a daily basis to the returning officer.
According to the report compiled by the election department, 6,094 litre of liquor has been seized till March 19, after the model code of conduct came into force on March 5. Contraband weighing around 1,520 grams has been recovered. Besides this, as many as 1,011 licensed arms have been deposited following an order of the district magistrate. Police have taken preventive action against 73 persons, and bonds under section 107 of the code of criminal procedure have been taken from a total of 140 persons. So far, no recovery of cash has been made.
Meanwhile, the static surveillance teams have been given the responsibility of putting up check-posts in expenditure-sensitive area for keeping a check on illegal activities.
Tanvi Garg requests for poll duty
After the Chandigarh administration withdrew additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Tanvi Garg from poll-related duties, the 2009-batch UT-cadre officer has requested the chief election officer to nominate her as election observer to be posted anywhere in the country.
Earlier, in violation of guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI), the administration had appointed Garg as a nodal officer for the implementation of model code of conduct. In a direction issued by the election commission, it was specified that officers deputed on election duty should not be posted in their home districts. According to the instructions, the officers who have completed three years or will complete three years on or before May 31, 2014, should also not be allowed to continue in their present place of posting.