| Police personnel stop a car for checking in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Around 25,000 jawans, including the paramilitary forces, will keep watch on proceedings of election in the Pataliputra and Patna Sahib constituencies on Thursday.
Senior police officers said all arrangements in connection with the election had been completed and there would be police presence on virtually all streets of Patna and its suburbs.
“The security arrangements are complete and people do not have to worry about anything. Apart from paramilitary forces, who will be primarily looking after the booths in both the constituencies, there will be police on the Patna roads all the time until the polling ends and the EVMs are transported to their destination. Though a definite number cannot be said for security reasons, constables, men from Bihar Military Police (BMP), inspector, sub-inspector and assistant sub-inspector-rank officers, men from homeguards among others will be on guard everywhere in Patna and major roundabouts like the Patna Junction area, Dakbungalow roundabout, Income Tax roundabout, Boring Road roundabout among others. A total plan, in connection with their strategic placements, has been made. However, apart from the Boring Road area, there will be very little traffic diversions in the city. But there will be frequent roadblocks with policemen checking the vehicles and people are requested to cooperate,” a police officer, requesting anonymity, said.
The Patna Sahib constituency has 1,818 polling booths while Pataliputra has 1,779. “So far as the security measures are concerned, the police are concentrating on vehicle checking more than anything. Earlier, around 50 people have been asked to move out of the district as per the provisions of the Crime Control Act (CCA). There have been many precautionary arrests and detentions too over the days. All the police stations are on high alert and extensive vehicle checks are taking place each day until the late night hours. The checks will be done even more extensively during the polling day and people need to understand and not resist. There will be immediate detentions if at all the police find anything suspicious. Also, people are requested not to carry huge cash amounts as that can put one into trouble. The vehicles which will be checked will also be video-graphed during the process,” another police officer said.
The men in uniform said the emergency services would function normally.
“People in need of any help in case of an emergency will be extended all co-operation and relief. Instructions on the same have been given to the cops who will be on field. People are requested to use their four-wheelers less on Thursday and even if they do, they should be carrying all necessary documents and papers. The police will keep a close eye on the trouble-mongers and any act by them will not be tolerated and ruthlessly crushed. The CCTV cameras installed all across the city will remain active and proper monitoring will be done. There will be women cops to help out women voters and also cops in civil clothes will patrol,” the officer added.
Part of Boring Road, which moves towards AN College from the Boring Road roundabout and that from Pataliputra area, will see diversions after 3pm on Thursday.
“All the EVMs will be kept at AN College on the Boring Road. Hence traffic will be stopped along the road starting from 3pm and the restrictions will continue until all the EVMs come to the college and have been kept. Boring Canal Road, however, will not see any traffic diversions. No private and public vehicles will be allowed to move on the stretch from the Boring Road roundabout towards the AN College. Also, people having their homes at areas like the Kasturba Path among others, have to reach their destinations through the lanes and bylanes as the road will be blocked. There will be traffic diversions and policemen on duty would guide the people about the dos and don’ts,” another police officer said.