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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Delhi: 900 cops are guarding your vote till counting day

Sidhartha Roy and Jatin Anand, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 14, 2014
First Published: 01:47 IST(14/4/2014) | Last Updated: 01:52 IST(14/4/2014)

The mandate of Delhiites is now safely recorded in the 21,967 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and 12,010 control units used in the 11,763 polling stations across the Capital. And hundreds of security personnel are currently engaged in ensuring that this mandate remains untouched for close to a month.

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While all eyes are on the poll results, to be announced on May 16, the EVMs have been kept under a large web of security personnel from Central Police Forces and platoons of the Delhi Police that guard them in three shifts on a daily basis.

According to official estimates, at least 700 to 900 security personnel are guarding these EVMs round-the-clock at seven venues across the Capital ever since they were procured from the polling booths.

The platoons are directly under the command of one Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) during every shift. There are three shifts to ensure rotation of personnel and to nip any security contingencies in the bud. “The exercise was humongous since the machines needed to be guarded at every step,” said a senior police officer.

“At polling stations, there was a team of personnel who did not let them out of sight even for even a second. Other teams then transported them to the counting centres and yet another team then carried them inside.”

“Law and order arrangements aside, our day didn’t end till these were deposited at the respective counting centres. The whole process was only completed around 2am by Friday — six hours after the elections were over,” another officer said.

For more than a month, the EVMs will remain at seven different centres under CCTV surveillance and close watch of security personnel.

“All the EVMs have been deposited at these seven centres and elaborate arrangements have been made for their security,” said Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev.

“The EVMs are being guarded by personnel from central police forces and the outer cordon is being provided by the Delhi Police,” he said. Dev said there are 40 companies of central police forces deployed for securing the machines.


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