Cuttack: With the Election Commission of India (ECI) announcing the four-phase Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Odisha beginning April 11, the Director General of Police (DGP) of the state, Dr R.P. Sharma has asked the district superintendents of police (SPs) to ensure the implementation of the model code of conduct enforced by the Commission in letter and spirit to make the election process smooth, peaceful and incident-free.
Reviewing the poll preparedness in a video conferencing at the State Police headquarters here on Thursday evening, Sharma laid emphasis on free, fair, transparent and impartial elections in the state, enforcement of the model code of conduct, guidelines for the police arrangement and security arrangements including the visits of VIPs and VVIPs.
He called upon the heads of all police districts to make adequate preparation well ahead of time and leave no stone unturned for an incident-free election.
The DGP had fixed some specific targets for district SPs for execution before the election through video conferencing on January 28. The targets included the arrest of persons under Section 110 of the CrPc, seizure of illegal firearms, illicit liquor and execution of non-bailable warrants (NBWs). He also reviewed the progress of achievement of the targets district wise.
He praised the effort of some SPs who had achieved more than 70 per cent of the target. He asked other SPs to work sincerely and try to achieve the targets before the commencement of the elections. He told them to fix the cut-off date from February 18 onwards.
It was revealed in the meeting that a total of 59 illegal arms and weapons have been recovered in the state from February 18 till date. Besides, 5611 litres of foreign liquor and 19277 litres of ID liquor have been seized, 2985 NBW cases have been executed and 601 persons have been arrested under Section 110 of the CrPC within the stipulated period.
The DGP discussed various election-related issues with the SPs such as preparation of district deployment plan of police personnel as per guidelines, implementation of the model code of conduct as per ECI notification, the progress of enforcement drive as fixed in the last video conferencing on February 28 and confidence-building measures.
Besides, he also asked the SPs to be vigilant and pro-active, ensure that the elections are conducted in a non-violent and incident-free manner, take steps to adequately sensitize the subordinate staff, remain vigilant and extra careful about social media, prepare a district requirement and budgetary plan, deploy manpower as per the ECI directive, prepare a vehicle requirement plan, have knowledge of the model code of conduct, permission to political parties on first-come-first-serve basis to hold public meetings etc, complete ban on transfers and postings, formation of mobile parties, flying squads and static surveillance teams, round-the-clock functioning of control rooms and augmentation of enforcement effort.
The DGP also categorically told the SPs not to deploy Home Guards/Gram Rakhis with political affiliation on election duty and display the list of the pending NBWs on the notice board of the police stations. He also requested the citizens to provide information to the police on the persons against whom NBWs are pending.
All senior police officers of the State Police headquarters including Director (Intelligence), ADGP (Crime), Director SCRB, ADGP (Law & Order), ADG (Operation), ADG (Modernisation), IGP (Personnel), IGP (Crime), IGP (Headquarters) were present in the meeting.