MUMBAI: Maharashtra police have made extensive security arrangements to ensure that voting for the October 15 Maharashtra Assembly polls goes peacefully with the deployment of over two lakh state police personnel, along with the reserved police forces.
Special security arrangements have been made in Gadhchiroli, the naxal-infested district, to thwart any possible disruption by Maoists during the democratic process, said Special Inspector General (Law and Order) Deven Bharti.
“Strict vigil will be maintained in Gadhchiroli. Indian Air Force helicopters will do the aerial surveillance,” he added.
Over two lakh police personnel, accompanied by about 390 companies of Central Reserve Force, State Reserve Force, Reserved Forces from different states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Sikkim, will be on the streets on Wednesday. These contingents will be assisted by about 30,000 home guards, police said.
About Rs 15 crore unaccounted cash and liquor worth Rs 80 lakh have been seized during the election campaign, while about 900 cases pertaining to violation of model code of conduct, including a case against former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, were reported across the state, police said.
In Mumbai, about 40,000 policemen, including paramilitary forces have been deployed to help smooth voting process at 9,920 polling booths in 36 assembly constituencies.
“The contingents have been strategically deployed across the city, especially at 38 vulnerable pockets, where violence or any other untoward incidents might occur, going by past records,” Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order) Dhananjay Kamalakar said. Polling station areas, which are prone to communal tension or intimidation by goons, are identified as vulnerable polling pockets by the Election Commission.
Since the past few days, preventive action has been taken against 16,330 people, including detention of people in anticipation of untoward incidents for several hours, externment from city limits for a few days, executing of non-bailable warrants and serving summons to appear before the court etc.
As many as 1,680 arms licence holders deposited their weapons with Mumbai Police in compliance with rules ahead of polling in the state, Kamalakar said.
Police were sensitised and a brief review of the relevant acts, including that from the People’s Representation Act 1951, IPC, CrPC, Damage to Public Property Act and the Maharashtra Police Act 1951, was done and queries from the cops were answered, police said.
In addition to sensitisation, violation of the acts, precautions and measures to be taken for avoiding situations like booth capturing were also briefed.