Security overdrive for phase III polls

The Election Commission has beefed up security for the third phase polls to six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies on Tuesday. 

Published: 23rd April 2019 02:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2019 07:35 AM   |  A+A-

Security personnel conduct flag march a day ahead of elections in Bhubaneswar, on Monday | Express

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  The Election Commission has beefed up security for the third phase polls to six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies on Tuesday. The security was enhanced in the wake of reports of poll violence and possible Maoist activities in certain parts of these constituencies spread over 12 districts across State.  

Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Sambalpur LS constituencies and Assembly segments under them will go to polls in the third phase. Incidents of poll violence were reported in parts of Puri, Bhubaneswar and Keonjhar Parliamentary constituencies on Sunday. Besides, four out of 12 districts, where elections will be held, are affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE).

As Maoists are still active in parts of Sambalpur, Deogarh, Angul and Nayagarh districts, there will be deployment of adequate security forces and police to maintain law and order, said a senior police official. Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel will also be deployed in Keonjhar which was affected by LWE in the past. 

Police said though there is no information about Maoists planning to disturb the third phase polls so far, security forces have been put on high alert in view of the Phulbani Naxal attack during the second phase elections. Security has been tightened in vulnerable areas and polling stations for safety of voters and polling personnel. Sources said of the 10,464 polling booths, 3,186 have been found to sensitive. Accordingly, arrangements have been put in place for smooth conduct of polls. 

As many as 52 companies of CAPF, 91 platoons of OSAP and 25 SOG units along with thousands of police personnel have been deployed for the third phase polls. Around 55 DSP-ranked officers, 147 inspectors and 1,128 sub-inspectors along with hundreds of poll observers, excise officials, flying squads and static surveillance teams will also keep an eye on voting in all Assembly segments to maintain law and order.

Elaborate arrangements put in place in Cuttack
Elaborate arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of third phase elections in Cuttack Lok Sabha constituency. The district administration has set up 15 pink polling booths in each Assembly segment which have air coolers, waiting lounges, proper illumination, first-aid kits, fire extinguishers and creche facilities to make voting comfortable for people. Similarly, special vehicles, wheel chairs and ramps have been arranged at all polling booths for persons with disabilities (PWDs), informed Sub-Collector Sukant Pradhan.  

DCP Akhilesvar Singh said a five-layer security arrangement has been put in place for smooth conduct of elections. Constables, home guards and gram rakhis have been engaged at the booth level and 51 mobile parties as well as 21 sector officers with adequate police force deployed for the polls. This apart, four Additional DCPs and 10 ACPs will supervise and monitor the situation. CCTV cameras have been installed and more policemen deployed at all 324 sensitive booths in the district, the DCP added.


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