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Home / Cities / At least 500 security personnel for each counting centre

At least 500 security personnel for each counting centre

cities Updated: Feb 10, 2020 22:15 IST

New Delhi: The Delhi election office is gearing up for counting day on Tuesday with tight security at the counting centres, spread across 21 locations in 11 districts.

Officials from the poll body said that around 2,600 counting staff, including 33 counting observers, are involved in the counting of votes on Tuesday, scheduled to begin at 8am.

“Foolproof security arrangements have been made in and around each of the counting centres. A three-layer security cover has been provided at the strongrooms, as per the election commission’s directions. Security around the counting centres and in the areas has also been beefed up,” said Ranbir Singh, chief electoral officer (CEO), Delhi.

The inner layers of the strongrooms are managed by personnel from the paramilitary forces. While state armed police forces form the second layer, the outer most layer is being managed by the local police.

A senior Delhi Police officer said each centre will be guarded by at least 200 security personnel until counting day. On counting day, their strength will be doubled.

“Unauthorised vehicles and individuals will be kept away from these heavily barricaded centres,” said an officer privy to the security details.

Deputy commissioner of police, Sharat Sinha said the strength of Delhi Police at each centre will go up to at least 500 personnel on the day of counting, including senior officers of the rank of assistant commissioner of police (ACP).

Apart from this, any accessory, stationery, equipment, computers, refreshments that need to be taken inside the centres will be scanned thoroughly for any possible threat or violation, Sinha added.

This apart, CCTV cameras have been placed outside each of the strongrooms and live feed of the camera footage is given to candidates and their political agents outside the three-layered cordon.

First, the postal ballot counting will be initiated, after which the EVM counting will begin. “The EVMs are absolutely secure. There is a set protocol for their movement from the sealing to the counting, and at every stage, the candidates and parties are involved so that everything transparent,” said Satnam Singh, special CEO, Delhi.

“The engineers from the company that manufactured EVMs will be stationed at the counting centres in order to take care of any kind of technical glitches in the machines,” he added.

As per EC guidelines, there are 14 counting tables for each assembly constituency at each round of counting. “The time taken for results to come out of an assembly constituency will depend upon the number of polling stations situated there. However, we are expecting results to be out by afternoon,” added Satnam Singh.

The Delhi assembly elections were concluded on February 8 with a voter turnout of 62.59%. The election, largely seen as a battle between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party saw a contest among 672 candidates.