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Cuttack: In view of the simultaneous counting for the 21 Lok Sabha seats and 146 Assembly seats at 62 locations in Odisha on May 23, as decided by the Election Commission of India (ECI), DGP RP Sharma on Saturday reviewed the security arrangements for the said purpose.
While Odisha Police, Odisha Special Armed Police, APR, OAPF, Home Guard and other Central Para Military Forces will be deployed during the counting process to avoid any disturbances and untoward incident, the DGP through video conferencing asked the SPs to make fool proof three tier security arrangement in the counting centres as per the guideline of ECI.
The Strong Room with EVMs shall be guarded by CAPF while inner ring shall be guarded by State Armed Police and Peripheral deployment by local District Police. He also advised them to give their extra security requirements in terms of man power latest by May 19. The requirement should be placed before Additional DGP (Law & Order).
At present 69 Companies of CAPF have been deployed in different districts and they are now engaged in the Strong Room guarding. Another 12 Companies of CAPF are expected to reach the State shortly to manage the counting task.
Sharma also asked the SPs to open Control Rooms in the vicinity of counting centres equipped with VHF, PA system and other communication equipments. The counting of votes this time may continue till late evening. In view of this, DGP asked the SPs to make additional arrangement of light and drinking water etc for the public outside the counting centre premises.
In total, 172 Platoons of Special Armed Police and 69 Companies of Central Armed Police Force have been arranged for deployment in the State during the counting of votes. However, extra Police Force will be deployed as per the requirement of SPs.
A threadbare discussion was held with the SPs on – Assessment of Sensitive centres and preparedness; Manpower deployment plan for the counting centres; Proper barricading of counting centres as well as outside to check massive public gathering; Traffic regulation around counting centres; Installation of CCTV cameras both inside and outside the counting centre; Provision of VHF and Public Address system at each centre; Provision of drinking water and light arrangement at the centres; Arrangement of robust patrolling system in the District to counter post poll violence; Preparedness for declaration of results and victory procession; Extra security arrangement for victory procession; Safety and security of EVMs; Installation of Metal Detector in the entrance of the Counting Hall; Total restriction of mobile phones to the Counting Hall; Extra vigil to curb post-poll violence; Deployment of SOG in the counting centres of Naxal infested areas and advanced collection of intelligence; Provision of video recording of the counting process.
Sharma also extended his heartiest congratulations to all SsP and their sub-ordinates officers and men for smooth conduct of election in the State, which was held in four phases and all the phases went-off peacefully barring some stray incidents.
There were no large scale disturbances anywhere in the State. It was a tough task for Odisha Police but still there was free, fair and incident free election in the State due to the pro activeness, sincerity, extra vigil and seriousness of SPs. He emphasised on similar seriousness of SPs during the process of counting also.