GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - Police and security forces have geared up to ensure free and fair elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and Director General of Police BJ Mahanta has warned that stern action would be taken against anyone found to be indulging in any unlawful activity. Talking to The Assam Tribune, the DGP said that a large number of weapons have been recovered in the run-up to the BTC polls and as the area has a history of poll-related violence, adequate arrangements have been made to ensure violence-free polls. He said additional forces have also been deployed in the BTC areas.
�I am personally monitoring the situation, while senior officers, including the Additional DG (Law and Order) and Inspector General of Police (BTAD) are also touring the districts to monitor the ground situation,� he said. Giving details of the security arrangements in place, Mahanta said force mobilization would be easier as the elections would be held in two phases. He said 22 companies of additional central forces have been deployed in Baksa in addition to the seven companies already stationed in the district, while 11 additional companies of forces have been deployed in Udalguri in addition to the existing 10 companies.
These two districts would go to polls in the first phase on December 7. After the completion of polls in these two districts, the additional forces would be moved to Kokrajhar and Chirang districts, which would go to polls on December 10.
The DGP said armed police forces would be deployed in all the polling buildings. Each building would have two to three polling booths and those would be manned by unarmed police personnel. The polling stations have also been clubbed as sectors and zones, and sectoral and zonal officers would be constantly on the move on the day of polling.
Mahanta said he has had meetings with senior officers of the Army and Central forces and requested them to go for aggressive patrolling to instill a sense of security among the people so that all voters can come out to exercise their franchise without any apprehension in their minds.
The political parties have also been requested to abide by the guidelines issued by the State Election Commission. The police and security forces have been directed to function impartially and strong action would be taken against anyone who tries to indulge in any kind of violence, Mahanta said.
The DGP said district police have prepared a data base of potential trouble makers who are being under close surveillance.