Used to wiping the grime off their video cameras only during ‘big shows’ like Team Anna’s recent sojourn at Ramlila Maidan, the police have had to turn to videography more than a hundred times in the run up to the civic polls.
A hundred cases of defacement were registered between March 16 and April 12, during which the Delhi Police had to enforce the model code of conduct. These will leave behind an equal number of CDs to be used as evidence as their legacy.
“We registered 120 cases under the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act in that period. Material ranging from hoardings to even wall writings were removed,” said Dharmendra Kumar, special CP (law and order).
Whenever they encountered a hoarding or banner advertising any candidate, they pulled it down or black it out, smiling at a camera as they did so.
This footage was then burnt on to a CD before being submitted to the municipal zone’s Assistant Commissioner, along with an FIR, as evidence inviting ‘necessary action’.
“Recently, officers pulling down banners and hoardings were videographed in action at an Urdu School near Jama Masjid,” said a senior police officer.
According to the Delhi Police, 603 hoardings, 767 banners, 2278 posters, 28 wall writings have been pulled down and confiscated, where possible, since March 16.
Moreover, several thousand liquor bottles, 71 vehicles and nearly 170 people arrested for several election-related offences, are currently stored/parked/ detained at almost all the Capital’s 165 police stations.