Bhubaneswar, March 29 (LocalWire): As the city gears up for the third phase poll on April 23, the police have an uphill task to maintain law and order during elections. LocalWire spoke to Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Kumar Sahoo about various measures being taken for a peaceful election this time.
Here’re the edited excerpts of the interview:
Q. What steps were taken to ensure peaceful election?
A. We have already initiated a process to execute pending warrants, and of around 1,600 warrants, we have executed more than 300 so far. Besides, we have also started a crackdown on habitual offenders under section 110 and 107 of CrPC.
Our motto will be to ensure no habitual offenders get a chance to influence the poll process. We have also asked the police stations to keep a vigil on people who can create tension among communities.
Q. Use of liquor and money to influence voters is rampant during election. What measures are being taken to restrict it?
A. Night patrolling has been intensified in the city. Vehicles are being checked thoroughly. Police personnel have been asked to frisk people roaming suspiciously in the city.
We have also started a joint drive with the excise (department) to crackdown on illegal sale of liquor and narcotics. So far, we have registered more than 100 excise cases in the city.
Q. Commuters often face problems on city roads due to political rallies. How will police ensure free traffic movement in such situations?
A. We have already issued an advisory to political parties to regulate public meetings and rallies. Parties need to apply for permission for rallies and road shows.
A single window facility has been set up in the office of ADM Bhubaneswar to facilitate such requests.
We have also been asking them to abide by the advisory, or else action will be initiated.
Q. A series of loot and snatching incidents have taken place in the city this month. With elections round the corner, what steps are being taken to prevent such crimes?
A. We have constituted a special team to crack the recent cases. We have also asked the police stations to identify vulnerable spots in the city for snatching and set up checkpoints to ensure safety of the public.
Q. A recent mob attack on Saheed Nagar police station has hampered the image of the police. What was the response of the police?
A. Most of the accused were arrested within days of the incident. Some had escaped to other parts of the state, and teams had been sent to nab them.
It was a relentless effort from all police teams. The investigation officer has been asked to closely monitor the case. Strict action will be taken for such unlawful and vandal acts.
Q. What will the role of public in the policing system during polls?
A. Residents of the city have an important role to play in the election process.
We urge them to pass on information related to distribution of money and liquor at the control room and through the cVigil mobile application of the ECI so that action can be initiated immediately.
We also request them to inform the police if they come across any unscrupulous elements living in their locality.