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Cop safety net around booths

Police would throw a security blanket around polling stations and drive out potential troublemakers from wards to ensure peaceful civic elections.

The State Election Commission is set to instruct the police to drive out those staying in wards away from their homes without “proper reason”.

Armed with the directive, the cops would be able to enter residential buildings and find out if outsiders had been living there. “We will drive out or detain those who fail to explain their presence in a ward away from their home,” said an officer.

“Our aim is to minimise the risk of trouble. There will be tight vigil in all 86 wards under Calcutta police, under the supervision of senior officers. The detective department has already arrested several rowdies,” said joint commissioner (headquarters) Jawed Shamim.

According to deputy commissioner (detective department) Damayanti Sen, the police have picked up 862 people so far and seized 70 firearms from them. More than 200 bombs were found in hideouts in the city.

“Our raids are on and more arrests are expected within a couple of days,” added Sen.

Five companies of Central Police Force (CPF) reached the city on Wednesday and put up at police lines in Cossipore. Four more companies of CPF are expected to reach the city shortly.

“Our target will be to deploy CPF in at least 144 of the 271 polling stations designated as sensitive. There will be six policemen, including four CPF officers, in 144 sensitive booths and at least 10 policemen will be deployed in the rest 127 sensitive booths,” said Shamim.

Cossipore, Chitpur, Muchipara, Beniapukur, Karaya and Tollygunge are some of the police stations under whose jurisdiction sensitive booths are located.

According to sources, officers of each police station would patrol the area on four motorcycles and in two vans. There will be 83 officers to supervise patrolling across the city.

“The police will be deployed within noon on Saturday, a day before the elections,” said Shamim.

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