From Deploying Flying Squads To Sealing Entry Points: Himachal Lists Poll Steps

The Himachal Pradesh Police has detailed the measures it took during the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh on November 12, while lauding its personnel for ensuring free, fair and incident-free conduct of polling in the sleepy and spectacularly stunning hill-state.

Listing steps it took from the time the Assembly polls were notified by the Centre on October 14 and the Model Code of Conduct came into effect across the state, the Himachal police said all constituencies were assessed in terms of the prevailing law-and-order situation and measures employed to ensure watertight security on the polling day.
In a release on Monday, the state police said a total of 232 Flying Squads and an equal number of Static Surveillance Teams were deployed across the state to cut out threats of any untoward incidents, after the notification of the polling date.

It said a total of 108 barricades were installed in the border areas and all entry points to the state were sealed to prevent any violence or untoward incidents on polling day.

The state police added that security cameras were installed at all security checkpoints and barricades to ensure that citizens get to exercise their right of franchise without fearing violence or trouble.

“A strict vigil was kept on people entering and exiting the state through the border areas in the run-up to the elections. We also kept a check on whether liquor was being smuggled in from neighbouring states. Central forces were deployed outside the 27 distilleries of the state to prevent supply ahead of the polls,” the Himachal Police stated in the release on Monday.

The state police said the state’s director general of police had issued specific instructions to the personnel to seal all access points to the state in a bid to prevent country liquor, drugs or any other illegal substance from being smuggled into the state.

“Coordination meetings were also organized at police stations, at sub-division, district and range levels,” the release by the state police read.

Of the total 7,881 polling booths installed across the state for this year’s Assembly elections, 396 were deemed ‘critical’, 886 ‘vulnerable’ and 6,599 ordinary polling booths, the state police said, adding that there were a total of 142 all-women polling booths this year.

It said a sizeable contingent of women police personnel were also deployed on poll duty this year.

While power has historically changed hands between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress in the hill-state, the saffron party is eyeing a return to power in Himachal this year on the promise of benefits of a ‘double-engine government’.

However, the Congress has also set its sights on unseating the BJP from power, the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) central to its poll agenda for the state. (ANI)

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