The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Violence alert in city pockets

Chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti expressed apprehension about disturbance in the city and the police top brass took stock of the security arrangements at “supersensitive” booths with a day left for elections in the city.

On Monday afternoon, the paramilitary force personnel conducted their “route march”.

“I think there could be disturbance in Calcutta, so the central forces would be present all over the city and the North and South 24-Parganas. They will rush to any area where the election observers want them on the poll day,” Chakrabarti said after a meeting with chief electoral officer Debasish Sen.

Calcutta police have come up with a list of violence-prone areas in various divisions.

“Some of the booths on UC Banerjee Road and Dhan Devi Khanna Road in Kadapara and APC Park in Phoolbagan are likely to witness violence,” said a senior officer. “In Beleghata, Lohapatty and Lebugolla Bustee are areas of concern,” he added.

Officers visited some booths on Gobinda Khatik Road, Canal South Road, DC Dey Road and Christopher Road in Tangra, identified as violence-prone.

“Two primary schools in Darapara and Tetultala in Topsia have been declared supersensitive,” said an officer.

“In Muchipara, 22 premises, including Bowbazar High School, Collins Institution and Goenka College, are trouble-prone,” he added.

Cops also fear trouble at polling stations on Hem Chandra Street, Watgunge Street, Dr Nitya Ghosh Street and Dr Sudhir Bose Road in Watgunge.

The police have decided that the electronic voting machines would be in the custody of the central forces. They would also be entrusted with ensuring peaceful polling inside booths.

Each booth would have eight policemen, including four from the central forces.

“There will be 125 sector mobile forces, 45 cluster mobile forces, 40 Radio Flying Squad teams, 10 Heavy Radio Flying Squad teams and 80 mobile strike forces. We want to ensure that no premise is outside the police scanner for over five minutes,” said Jawed Shamim, the city detective chief.

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