Around 40,000 police personnel, 20,000 home guards as well as 108 companies of paramilitary and state armed police forces will be deployed to ensure smooth conduct of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi election on Sunday, officials said.
Sixty drones will also be used to ensure law and order in sensitive areas, police said.
Increasing visibility, preventing the chances of communal flare-ups and checking candidates from luring voters by illegal means will be the focus of the police for the civic elections in 250 wards.
A general briefing and rehearsals have been conducted for the police, paramilitary, battalion force and home guards to ensure smooth execution of security arrangements.
Assistant commissioners of police and inspectors held meetings with peace committee members of the respective areas to strengthen public-police relationship The officials sensitised them to become “eyes and ears” of police and report on 1090 regarding anything suspicious.
The staff was sensitised to exhibit impartial conduct, remain vigilant for any miscreants and to carry out duties in compliance with the Model Code of Conduct, North Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Sagar Singh Kalsi said.
“Approximately 40,000 Delhi Police personnel, 20,000 homeguards from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, along with 108 coys (companies) of Central Armed Police Forces and State Armed Police have been deployed for duties,” said Anand Mishra, DCP (operations and election).
A company comprises around 70-80 security personnel.
Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Zone II Sagar Preet Hooda said survey of all the sensitive polls and booths had been done.
“We have a strong deployment of force in the sensitive poll booths. Area-wise specific plans have also been prepared,” Hooda told PTI.
“For election, we have got 108 coys (companies) of central and state armed police forces,” he said.
Sixty drones will be used in ensuring law and order in the sensitive zones of each district, which has been given four-five unmanned aerial vehicles each, the officer said.
Dependra Pathak, special commissioner of law and order in Zone I, said policing focussed on the MCD election for the past six-eight weeks.
There is a focus on routine policing, staying alert and gathering local intelligence, Pathak said. “We are collating the information and analysing and strategising the area-wise data.” The officer said police were also analysing the kind of candidates and demographic composition of the area.
For instance, if certain areas have more slum clusters, they become more sensitive, he said.
Police are also keeping tabs on strongrooms where electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be stored, counting centres and polling centres based on their status — whether critical or normal.
Homeguard, paramilitary forces and flying squads will be accordingly deployed and a detailed arrangement has been done, Pathak said.
Senior district-level officers have been asked to stay in the office during the night, while police inspectors have been directed to attend any call related to gang fights, clashes or issues that might have a communal colour.
“Visibility and immediate intervention are required to prevent any situation from going out of hand,” he said, addressing apprehensions over breaches of peace.
Checking of vehicles has gone up and individuals are also being searched to ascertain if any illegal weapon is being carried, he said.
“We have a very detailed police arrangement. Thousands of our personnel, including outside forces, will be deployed for the election process,” he said.
Five-six companies of paramilitary forces will be deployed in each district to protect the strongrooms. There will be CCTV cameras and 24/7 police presence to check the comings and goings.
Stressing that the role of the police did not end with the elections, Pathak said it was also important to maintain security post counting and celebratory functions.
“To have seamless coordination with the Election Commission and civic agencies involved in the conduct of elections, we are here with a focused role of maintaining law and order and providing a very safe and secure environment,” Pathak said.
“If anything is going to disturb this, then professional police and legal action will be taken.”