Police to keep tabs on contestants who have criminal records
Putting together a list of civic poll contestants with criminal records will make it easier to maintain law and order during campaigning as well as to keep surveillance on those with dubious records, the police said on Tuesday.
"If we get complaints of threat or intimidation to voters by any candidate, this data bank will help verify the veracity of the complaint. We can refer to the data bank and check the antecedent of a candidate and initiate appropriate action," said Rajnish Seth, joint commissioner of police (law and order).
Of the 13 police zones in the city, Zone 7 has the highest number of candidates with criminal history. This zone includes Ghatkopar, Vikhroli Park Site, Pant Nagar, Bhandup, Kanjur Marg, Mulund and Navghar, areas that have been the traditional strongholds of several underworld gangs, notably the Chhota Rajan gang and the Kumar Pillai gang.
Zone 4, which includes Bhoiwada, Kalachowkie, Matunga and Parel have the least number of contestants with criminal records, with just one candidate figuring in the police dossier.
The port zone, with just three police stations in its jurisdiction (Yellowgate, Wadala and Sewri) has nine criminals fighting the electoral battle.
"The police stations have been asked to keep tab on these candidates," Manohar Dalvi, deputy police commissioner (operations).
If anyone is found involved in a cognisable offence, a case will be registered and the matter will be referred to the Election Commission for appropriate action, Seth said.