EC wants key security duties with central forces | punjab | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 16, 2017-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

EC wants key security duties with central forces

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday asked the Punjab government to follow its transfer policy, particularly for civil services officers, strictly ahead of the state assembly polls due early next year to avoid any bias. Also, it has demanded nearly 90,000 central paramilitary personnel be deployed 72 hours before voting in the state. This is more than three times the number deployed in the 2012 polls.

punjab Updated: Nov 23, 2016 09:49 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
A letter from the EC to Punjab chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal on Tuesday sought compliance of the transfer policy
A letter from the EC to Punjab chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal on Tuesday sought compliance of the transfer policy(HT File Photo)

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday asked the Punjab government to follow its transfer policy, particularly for civil services officers, strictly ahead of the state assembly polls due early next year to avoid any bias. Also, it has demanded nearly 90,000 central paramilitary personnel be deployed 72 hours before voting in the state. This is more than three times the number deployed in the 2012 polls.

A letter from the EC to Punjab chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal on Tuesday sought compliance of the transfer policy. Reportedly, the EC has found that Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officer Bakhtawar Singh, posted as additional deputy commissioner (ADC), Tarn Taran, doesn’t fulfil the norms, so he may immediately be shifted. In September, when the chief election commissioner was in Chandigarh to oversee poll arrangements, he had asked the department heads to implement the policy.

Now, in a meeting of chief electoral officers (CEOs) of five states going to polls in near future with CEC Nasim Zaidi on November 25, the deployment of central paramilitary forces is expected to come up for discussion. Parties including the Congress and AAP have demanded deployment of these personnel, apprehending that the state police may help the ruling SAD-BJP combine.

Punjab additional chief electoral officer S Cibin said that, depending on the political scenario, there’s a need of 1,500 companies — 60 personnel each — of paramilitary forces. In the 2012 polls, 450 companies were deployed. “There are 6,010 vulnerable polling stations and 150 are critically vulnerable,” said an EC officer. As per the proposal of the EC, with paramilitary forces coming to Punjab during polls, the state police would be not on active election duty. “They would be posted on nakas, borders, and for security of candidates and staff,” said an EC officer.

The plan is to deploy paramilitary forces at all polling stations, with flying squads, quick reaction teams, and static surveillance units, and one company with the teams of narcotics control bureau officers expected to be deployed in the state too.