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64,000 cops deployed to ensure free polls

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 04, 2013
First Published: 01:34 IST(4/12/2013) | Last Updated: 13:33 IST(7/12/2013)

A day ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections, security arrangements were intensified at all vulnerable areas in the capital on Tuesday to avoid any untoward incident and check malpractices used to influence voters.

As part of the special security arrangements ahead of polling day, the Home Ministry identified 42 Metro stations in the city as ‘sensitive’ and stepped up security checks.

Following an order issued by ministry of home affairs (MHA), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has deployed additional forces at the stations for the next two days.

Speaking about the arrangements, CISF Deputy Inspector General (Delhi Metro) Udayan Banerjee said that some of these ‘sensitive’ Metros stations are located near polling booths, while the others are transit points that see a high footfall. These include Central Secretariat, Rajiv Chowk, New Delhi, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Saket, Hauz Khas, AIIMS, INA, Kashmere Gate, Laxmi Nagar and Akshardham.

“This is a special arrangement for two days keeping in view the safety and security of lakhs of Metro commuters,” Banerjee said.

In addition to the 64,000 police personnel deployed on poll duty this year, the election day will see an additional deployment of 107 companies of central paramilitary forces. Surveillance has been mounted at border towns to check the smuggling of liquor, trafficking of illegal fire arms and money.

According to sources, the police has stepped up vigil to ensure that people coming to the capital from the NCR region do not cast bogus votes. The Delhi police is working in tandem with the police forces of Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to keep a check on such tactics.

“All the polling booths identified as critical and hypercritical will have two-layer security, one with state police and the other with central paramilitary forces,” said Mukesh Kumar Meena, joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi range).

The Election Commission has also taken elaborate steps to ensure deployment of micro-observers and installation of CCTV cameras. It has introduced live web-casting of the polls through which proceedings will be monitored live in its control room.

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