Odisha Police Tightens Security for Lok Sabha and Assembly Polls

Odisha Police deploy 17,000 personnel and special security measures in Left Wing Extremism-affected areas for simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls on May 13, 2024. The police have taken strict enforcement actions, including executing warrants and seizing illegal arms, to ensure a peaceful voting process.

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Odisha Police Tightens Security for Lok Sabha and Assembly Polls

Odisha Police Tightens Security for Lok Sabha and Assembly Polls

The Odisha Police has stepped up security, arrangement, place, first measures in 6,282 polling stations, including 537 vulnerable booths in Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected areas, ahead of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls on May 13, 2024. Director General of Police (DGP) Arun Sarangi stated, "Odisha Police is fully geared up for smooth, impartial, free and fair elections."

Why this matters: The security measures taken by the Odisha Police are crucial in ensuring a peaceful and fair election process, which is essential for maintaining democratic stability in the region. The success of these efforts will have a ripple effect on the overall political landscape of India, influencing the outcome of the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

In the first phase of elections, four Lok Sabha constituencies - Koraput, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, and Berhampur - will go to polls, along with 28 assembly seats under these constituencies. A total of 37 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha elections, while 243 candidates are contesting the assembly seats. Over 62.87 lakh voters are set to cast their votes in this phase.

The main focus of the measures is on the LWE-affected areas, with six out of the nine districts going to polls being Maoist-affected. These districts include Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, and Kalahandi. Special security arrangements have been made for the safety of polling officials in these regions.

The Odisha Police has deployed a massive force of 17,000 personnel, 104 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), and 66 platoons of State Armed Police (SAP) for the phase of elections. Additionally, 600 mobile parties are monitoring the law and order situation and election activities, with each party covering 10 to 12 polling booths. Inter-state border check posts with CCTV have been set up at 51 locations, while intra-state border check posts have been opened at 50 locations.

To ensure free and fair elections, 210 flying squad teams and 195 static surveillance teams have been engaged in duty as per the Election Commission of India's direction. EVMs will be stored in 15 strong rooms across the nine districts after polling, with round-the-clock security provided by CAPF and SAP in a two-tiered system.

In the LWE-affected districts, 539 anti-Naxalite operations have been launched since January, resulting in the neutralization of one Maoist leader in Nabarangpur district. 138 operational parties of CAPF and 37 units of State Armed Police Force are conducting area domination exercises in these regions. Two choppers have been deployed at Jeypore in Odisha and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh for emergency situations.

As part of the enforcement activities, the Odisha has executed 33,000 warrants, booked seven persons under NSA, and seized 233 illegal arms since January 1, 2024. They have also seized 4.50 lakh liters of illegal liquor, registered 22,000 cases, and arrested 3,428 persons. The police have received 111 social media-related complaints, against which 350 contents have been removed, five cases registered, and one person arrested.

The Odisha police, election has taken all necessary measures to ensure a peaceful and secure voting process in the state. With the deployment of a large number of security personnel, special arrangements in LWE-affected areas, and strict enforcement activities, the stage is set for the smooth conduct of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Odisha on May 13, 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • Odisha Police deploys 17,000 personnel and 104 CAPF companies for phase 1 polls.
  • 537 vulnerable booths in LWE-affected areas get special security arrangements.
  • 62.87 lakh voters to cast votes in 4 Lok Sabha and 28 assembly seats.
  • 210 flying squads and 195 static teams ensure free and fair elections.
  • 33,000 warrants executed, 233 illegal arms seized, and 4.50 lakh liters of liquor confiscated.