February 20, 2021 4:06:43 am
State Director General of Police (DGP) Ashish Bhatia Friday said more than 40,000 police, home guard and Gram Rakshak Dal (GRD) personnel along with 44 companies of State Reserve Police Force will be deployed across Gujarat to ensure free and fair elections to six municipal corporations on Sunday.
At a press conference in Gandhinagar Friday, Bhatia said, “Polling is to be conducted in 11,154 polling booths under 3,411 polling stations across the state, in which ample police bandobast will be made. In that regard, 25,000 police officers and personnel, 15,500 home guard and GRD jawans and 44 companies of SRPF will be deployed,” Bhatia said.
Among the total 40,000 personnel to be deployed, 17,000 police and home guard personnel will be deployed from outside the state. “A total of 287 sector police mobile teams and 136 quick response teams will be deployed for patrolling purposes. SRPF will be deployed outside EVM strong rooms. To ensure that no untoward incident takes place on the polling day, all units of Gujarat Police have been kept on ‘stand 2’ status,” Bhatia added.
Meanwhile, all public meetings and rallies related to campaigning have been suspended between 5 pm Friday and 5 pm Sunday in the six municipal corporations that will go to polls on February 21.
A notification issued by the office of Ahmedabad city Police Commissioner Sanjay Srivastava Friday stated, “To conduct free and fair elections, in a smooth manner and ensure law and order, a prohibition has been put on all public meetings 48 hours ahead of the local body polls. The order will be implemented from 5 pm on 19/02/2021 to 5 pm on 21/02/2021 during which no one will be allowed to call for, organise or attend any public meetings. Anyone found violating the order will be charged under IPC section 188 for disobedience to order given by public servant.”
In another notification, guidelines have been issued for the conduct of parties’ volunteers and agents outside the polling booths on the day of the election. “Each candidate will be allowed to put up one camp with a table and two chairs a minimum of 200 feet from the polling booth, where their agents and volunteers can issue identity slips to their voters,” the order issued by the Ahmedabad city police read.
To ensure law and order, more than 47,000 people have been detained in the six cities that are going to polls, the DGP said Friday.
State police have also confiscated 48,282 licensed weapons, seized Rs 7.1 crore worth of illicit liquor and Rs 1.96 crore cash ahead of the polls.
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