The Coimbatore police, in a novel measure to ensure smooth conduct of the general elections, have asked history-sheeters to sign a bond, stating that they would be at their best behaviour till the election process is over, failing which they would be fined or put behind bars.
Speaking to Express, Commissioner of Police A K Viswanathan said, his team was already on the job. “The anti-social elements would have to pay a fine, stipulated in the bond, which they have signed or face a prison term for the period mentioned in it. If the offence is serious in nature, they will have to pay a fine and undergo prison term,” he added.
Since the beginning of February, 953 history-sheeters, including those involved in political rivalries, thefts and other crimes, have signed the bond and in March another 338 have been made to do so.
DCP, (Law and Order), Pravesh Kumar has been entrusted with the responsibility to initiate the ‘bond’ process, said Viswanathan.
Another top official from the Election Cell of the police said that though the bond process is a permanent fixture of the police statute book, during the time of elections, the enforcement would be a little stricter, and respective station inspectors would identify the rowdy elements, who could turn into a menace during elections.
Meanwhile, the police have also had 485 persons, who held firearms voluntarily, deposit their weapons at different police stations across the city.
“There are 868 people, who possess gun licences in the city. Of the total, only 196, or 40 per cent of those who are requested to do so have not deposited them,” said Viswanathan.
In addition, the city police have also identified 66 ‘problematic polling stations’ which would be monitored. Viswanathan said that Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) have been instituted in areas where the stations are located, whereby police inspectors would maintain constant vigil and monitor rowdy elements.
“These measures are in addition to the paramilitary force which will anyway be present at the booths,” he said.