The “reduced” level of policing in the city for several hours on Tuesday morning ahead of the polling day has raised eyebrows.
The poor level of policing was evident in the city as police personnel were not deployed at many check posts for several hours, making it easy for anyone to ferry any material, which could mar the chances of conducting free and fair polls.
Importantly, the city was flooded with police personnel for the visit of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for a rally in support of SAD candidate Harsimrat Kaur Badal on April 25. But on Tuesday fewer cops were seen across the city for a considerable period of time.
Questioning the “deliberate” move, Arvinder Singh, a leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), said it was observed that all security check posts that used to be there till Monday were removed on last day of the campaign. “Four check posts from Sardulgarh to Bathinda were not there on Tuesday.”
He alleged that the level of policing was scaled down to allow the mainstream parties indulge in distribution of liquor and money to influence voters.
‘No lowering of guard’
District electoral officer Kamal Kishore Yadav, however, said the administration was keeping a strict vigil and police patrolling parties were moving in the city round the clock.
On the poor presence of cops, he said police personnel along with polling staff were busy taking instructions on the deployment plan and after getting the instructions they moved for their respective duties and the check posts had also been strengthened.
SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar also denied poor policing and said one police patrol party per five polling booths has been deployed, while five PCR vans are regularly moving in the city, keeping a tab on the goings-on.