Besides chasing criminals, Delhi Police has another daunting task on its shoulders this time of the year. With Lok Sabha elections a couple of months ahead, Delhi Police has gone on a cleaning spree. The force is hiring labourers to remove illegal hoardings and banners put by various political parties across the city.
Within four days after the model code of conduct came into effect, police have already registered 166 cases pertaining to various kinds of defacement. On an average, in the past four days, police registered 40 cases on a daily basis.
“We have to follow the guidelines of the election commission. A lot of manpower is required for removing the hoardings and banners. We hire labourers from outside and with their help remove these hoardings,” said a senior police officer.
On March 1, defacing public or private property became a punishable offence with the implementation of the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act 2007 (Delhi Act (1) of 2009.
“Any person who defaces any public property in public view is punishable with imprisonment for a term extending to one year, or a fine which may extend to Rs 50,000 or both,” said Rajan Bhagat, spokesman, Delhi Police.
“We have written to all political parties warning them of the consequences of illegal hoardings, posters and banners. When they do not abide by the rules we register a first information report (FIR) against the concerned political party,” said the officer.
For instance, on the first day after the model code was effected, Police removed 97 banners, 71 posters and registered 44 cases under the stringent Act. Earlier, offenders were booked under the West Bengal Prevention of Defacement of Property Act of 1976.