CHANDIGARH: Ahead of the Assembly elections slated for February 4, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is fully determined to check and stop the flow of drugs, liquor and money in the State. ECI has issued instructions that issued that every district should have 500 Nakas (checking points) besides 200 at the State level and 60 at the State borders.
Also, ECI deployed 23 sniffers dogs to sniff drugs during search operations. Sources said that a plan has been prepared by the office of Punjab’s director general of police (DGP) following the instructions from the commission to stop flow of drugs, money, liquor and weapons during the elections. Instructions have been issued by the DGP’s office to lay Nakas across the State and thus check movement of vehicles as well as people and virtually seal the whole State.
As per the plan, Nakas are being set-up at district and State level besides sealing the borders of the State from neighboring states. As per instructions issued to all the inspector general of police (Zone), police commissioners, DIG (Ranges) and senior superintendent of police in each district, at least 500 Nakas will be set up in the 23 districts.
According to sources, 43 officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), each officer assisted by five personnel of paramilitary forces have been deployed across the State to act as the eyes and ears of the Election Commission for checking the flow of drugs. Additionally, more than 50 companies of paramilitary forces have arrived in the State as the Union government had decided to send 100 companies to the State to conduct free and fair elections. The rest of the companies are expected to arrive soon.
Confirming the deployment of NCB officers on election duty, NCB’s zonal director Kaustubh Sharma said the officers had already started working across the State. “These officers can anywhere raid, seize drugs, intercept vehicles and carry out investigation and will directly report to the Commission.‘’
“Besides NCB officers, 23 sniffers dogs have also been deployed- one in each district to sniff out drugs. 19 dogs have been hired while three have been given by the Punjab Police to the NCB officials,’’ said additional director general of police, Punjab, VK Bhawra who is the nodal officer with the chief electoral officer, Punjab.