92,000 personnel, drones in place as Delhi votes today | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

92,000 personnel, drones in place as Delhi votes today

By, New Delhi
May 25, 2024 06:06 AM IST

There are 13,641 polling booths at 2,627 locations across the city, of which 429 have been declared “critical/sensitive” stations.

The Delhi Police has put in place a double-layer security apparatus — including aerial surveillance with drones fitted with high-definition cameras, CCTV cameras, and on-the-spot videography — at the polling stations across Delhi for Saturday when people will cast their votes for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, senior officers aware of the matter said on Friday.

Delhi Police personnel seen deployed outside a polling station at Atal Adarsh Balika Vidyalaya, Gole Market. (Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Delhi Police personnel seen deployed outside a polling station at Atal Adarsh Balika Vidyalaya, Gole Market. (Sanchit Khanna/HT)

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The officers said that more than 92,000 personnel from Delhi Police, Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF), and home guards from Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttarakhand have been deployed at the polling centres fanning across the city to ensure a smooth electoral process.

There are 13,641 polling booths at 2,627 locations across the city, of which 429 have been declared “critical/sensitive” stations.

“We have made adequate security arrangements at the polling stations, border points, on streets and neighbourhoods, including the communally sensitive areas, to create a secure environment for voters and officials responsible for carrying out the polling. Sixty-five companies of CAPFs, 35,000 Delhi Police personnel and nearly 19,000 home guards from Delhi and other states will be deployed at the stations. Every critical polling station has been given additional deployment of security personnel,” said special commissioner of police, RP Upadhyay, the state police nodal officer (SPNO) for Lok Sabha elections in Delhi.

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Voting in Delhi for its seven Lok Sabha constituencies – New Delhi, South, East, North East, North West, Chandni Chowk and West – is happening in the sixth phase scheduled for May 25 (Saturday).

A senior police officer from the election cell of Delhi Police said that the double-layer security arrangement will be in place at all the 429 critical polling stations, which have around 2,300 booths. The inner layer of the security apparatus will be taken care of by the personnel from CAPF and its Rapid Action Force (RAF), along with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and armed police of Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.

The personnel of the Delhi Police will form the outer layer of security at the sensitive polling stations. Security personnel will not enter polling booths unless the presiding officers want them inside to tackle any emergencies, the officer added.

“The home guards will be deployed as queue managers to ensure the voters are waiting in proper lines. They will also assist the elderly and differently disabled voters to reach the booths,” said Upadhyay.

Another officer from the election cell said that 48 drones have been procured from private vendors and they will be used at the critical polling stations for aerial surveillance, which will be done to keep a vigil over those trying to disturb the polling process, especially in communally sensitive areas.

“In addition to the 48 drones procured by us, the district police have also arranged drones according to their requirements. The installation of sufficient CCTV cameras at the polling stations has already been done. The activities at polling premises will be captured in the cameras,” the officer added.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, special commissioner of police (law and order zone 2) Madhup Tiwari led flag and foot marches and area dominance exercises in some south and southeast Delhi areas such as Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh, Okhla Industrial Area, Ambedkar Nagar, Sangam Vihar and Malviya Nagar.

“Our priority is to create a safe and conducive environment for all voters. The flag march and area domination exercises are part of our comprehensive strategy to prevent untoward incidents and build trust among the residents,” said Tiwari.

As Delhi shares its borders with two states – Haryana and Uttar Pradesh – security measures have been intensified at borders, including checking vehicles for illicit liquor, firearms and ammunition. Delhi Police officers said they are working in close coordination with their counterparts in the two states.

“Joint combing operations involving the Uttar Pradesh police are being done in the communally charged neighbourhood of Ghaziabad bordering our east, northeast and Shahdara police districts. We have also intensified our night vigil in all the three districts,” said joint commissioner of police (eastern range) Sagar Singh Kalsi.

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