Checks for Lok Sabha polls

Calcutta police chief directs cops to activate 82 checkpoints

By Monalisa Chaudhuri in Calcutta
  • Published 14.03.19, 3:09 PM
  • Updated 14.03.19, 3:09 PM
  • a min read
Anuj Sharma, Calcutta police commissioner The Telegraph file picture

Calcutta police commissioner Anuj Sharma has asked his officers to activate 82 checkpoints in the city and maintain video surveillance on each ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The move is aimed at preventing smuggling of arms, explosives, unaccounted for money and illicit liquor.

The checkpoints will have a group of officers who would maintain vigil on a particular stretch. They can stop and check vehicles based on specific information or suspicion.

Such checkpoints are usually activated in case of a security alert.

Any vehicle can be searched and the occupants frisked by officers posted at the checkpoints, police said.

The idea is to prevent any activity that violates the model code of conduct that came into effect after the Election Commission of India announced the election dates on Sunday, an officer said.

Commissioner Sharma asked the police to activate the checkpoints during his first election coordination meeting with Calcutta police officers on Tuesday.

Stretches that are not covered by CCTV cameras should be videoed, he said.

At present one or two checkpoints are active in the city at night. There are at least 80 more places where the police should be “visible and fully active” for random checks, he said.

Last week, a truck carrying around 1,000kg of potassium nitrate, a primary ingredient for low-intensity bombs, was seized on BT Road.

“Anyone carrying a large amount of cash should be in a position to explain the purpose and source of the money,” an officer in Lalbazar said.

“It would be illegal to carry even licensed arms. Once the model code of conduct is in place, people are supposed to surrender their arms either to their local police stations or authorised dealers.”

There is no bar on carrying money but it is advisable for the person to carry his/her identity documents and papers to justify the money, another officer said. People carrying alcohol have to produce purchase receipts.

The commissioner had instructed officers to accept “all election-related complaints” and keep complainants updated about the progress in investigations.