In anticipation of a possible disruption of law and order on polling day scheduled on October 15, the Mumbai police in collaboration with the Mumbai city district election office have taken preventive action against sixteen persons in island city.
They have been identified persons causing vulnerability as per the vulnerability mapping exercise carried out before every election. Eight of the sixteen persons have been bound over by the police, seven have been detained under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act and one has been taken into custody.
“History-sheeters or those with a record of notoriety during election are identified by the police and taken action against accordingly,” said a senior official from the city district election office.
On the other hand, 26,278 vulnerable voters have also been identified from the 25 vulnerable polling stations in four of the ten constituencies located in island city. Most of these voters – 13,096 – are in the Mumbadevi constituency which comprises of areas such as Dongri, Pydhonie, Bhendi Bazaar, Khara Talao, Girgaum etc.
“Polling station areas which are prone to communal tension or intimidation by goons are identified as vulnerable polling stations. As the exact extent of influence by groups and individuals causing vulnerability cannot be determined, all the voters registered in these polling stations are identified to be vulnerable voters,” said Dnyaneshwar Khillary, nodal officer for vulnerability mapping and district security plan.
Apart from additional bandobast on pre-polling and polling days, Khillary added that confidence building measures among the voters such as organising meetings with the communities to explain the arrangements made for a free and fair poll were also being undertaken.
According to the norms of the election commission, a vulnerable voter are defined as those who are prone to intimidation or undue influence or force of any kind in relation to the exercise of his or her right to vote in a free and fair manner.