As the country’s richest civic body goes to the polls today, elaborate arrangements have been made across Mumbai to ensure it is smooth-sailing.
A day before voting starts, the Mumbai police have deployed its forces across the city’s 7,297 voting booths. There are 91,80,497 registered voters in Mumbai.
At every polling booth is a ‘strong room’, where the electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being kept. Quick response teams will guard these rooms before and after the elections, until the votes are counted.
Around 726 booths have been identified as sensitive, and will have increased police presence. The police will video record voting at these booths.
After Mumbaiites vote on Tuesday, counting will be done two days later at 23 centres across the city.
“The police have been asked to take all precautionary measures to ensure a peaceful atmosphere during counting,” said Ashok Dudhe, deputy commissioner and spokesperson of the Mumbai police.
Dudhe said police personnel will be deployed within 100m of every voting booth and nakabandi and patrolling have already started at all major entry and exit points of the city.
The Mumbai police have taken preventive action against 3,000 people and detained 1,100 people with criminal records. Based on seriousness of offences, 125 suspects from Mumbai and neighbouring cities like Thane and Navi Mumbai were externed. Warrants were issued again 844 people who have committed petty offences. The police has also imposed section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code, which enables them to take action if five or more people gather at a spot.
Across the state, 54,025 people are under house arrest or have been banned from entry into particular areas, as preventive action. “We have been taking all precautions and will keep an eye on all booths and sensitive places, not only during the election, but until counting,” said Dudhe.