Security ramped up in Puducherry ahead of counting

Puducherry, May 12: Elaborate security arrgangements have been put in place in the Union Territory ahead of the counting of votes on Friday, May 13 of the April 13 assembly polls, a top police official said here today.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Atul Khatiyar said 65 senior police officers, 625 constables and two sections of Central Industrial Security Force would be on duty to ensure law and order in and around the Bharathidasan Government College for women, the counting centre for the votes polled in Puducherry''s 23 constituencies.

Police have identified 25 sensitive pockets in the Puducherry region and armed police personnel would be deployed in these pockets to keep vigil for 24 hours from 8 am tomorrow, Khatiyar said.

District Election officer G Ragesh Chandra said counting would start from 8 am onwards and elaborate arrangements were made at the centres for smooth conduct of counting. "Only persons with the identity cards would be permitted inside the counting centre", he said.

He added that the counting centre for Karaikal would be the Aringar Anna Government Arts college and the counting centres for the Mahe and Yanam regions would be the Jawaharlal Nehru government higher secondary school and the mini civil station respectively.

Chandra said a prohibitory order under section 144 Cr.PC had been promulgated and none would be allowed to carry arms or ammunitions near the counting centres. Liquor, toddy and arrack shops and bar-attached restaurants would remain closed tomorrow. He said executive magistrates had been appointed to effectively supervise the law and order situation.

Chandra said the EC had appointed ten observers to monitor the counting process in the Puducherry district. He appealed to all candidates, their agents and political parties to extend full cooperation for smooth conduct of the counting.

Ninety seven counting supervisors, an equal number of counting assistants and 79 micro observers were being deployed, he said, adding each counting table would be video graphed during counting process.

Khatiyar said 44 cases involving poll-related violence had been booked since the model code of conduct came into force in the Union Territory and the accused in all but three cases had been chargesheeted.

Khatiyar said that of the 103 cases booked for alleged violation of model code of conduct, the police have transferred six cases to the CID unit in Puducherry.


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