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Polling at 200 Punjab booths under e-surveillance

india Updated: Jan 20, 2012 20:10 IST
HT Correspondent

Taking a leap forward towards ensuring fair and free elections in the state, the state election commission would for the first time be web-casting the polling process live in 200 polling booths as a pilot project. Chief electoral officer (CEO), Punjab, Kusumjit Kaur Sidhu said that the web-casting would be conducted through the Internet and help of technical education department of the state government was being taken.

Talking to mediapersons on Thursday, she said that in the forthcoming elections, web-casting would be done only of 200 polling booths in 11 districts of the state for which technical education department would be making the necessary provisions. “The web-casting would not be open for the general public but only officers of election commission and the officers of CEO’s office would be able to watch it,” added Sidhu.

She further said that in order to ensure free and fair voting on the polling day, the borders of the state would be sealed so that no outsider could enter the state with the motive of disturbing law and order situation of the state. Special CEO Usha R Sharma said that following complaints, Punjab Police DSP Mukhwinder Singh, posted at Malout, has been transferred to 9th Battalion of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) at Amritsar. DSP Jaswant Singh has been transferred to Malout.

999 vulnerable areas identified
Joint CEO Gurkirat Kirpal Singh said that the election commission has identified 999 vulnerable areas in the state. “Vulnerable areas have been identified as per the guidelines. As a part of the confidence building measures (CBMs) in these areas, flag marches would be taken out by the paramilitary forces and election observers concerned would visit the areas regularly,” he added.

Gurdaspur district tops the list 457 vulnerable areas, followed by 128 in Moga, 113 in Amritsar, and 97 in Jalandhar. Border district Tarn Taran, Muktsar, Faridkot, and Patiala has no vulnerable area.

He further said that apart from it, sector magistrate would visit these areas before and during the polls. The joint CEO also said that people having criminal background in these areas were under a close watch and directions have been passed on to the police department for arresting the proclaimed offenders in these areas.

“At the sensitive polling booths, either paramilitary forces could be deployed or micro observers would be appointed. Even videography of such booths could be done for ensuring smooth election process,” he explained.