A day before Karnataka goes to polls, the state Director General-Inspector General of Police (DG-IGP) Neelamani Raju assured voters of a peaceful and free election.
“People of the state should be able to exercise their franchise without any fear. The law and order situation is completely under control. Not only that, the communal situation is also under control. This is a matter of great satisfaction for the Election Commission,” the state police chief told reporters on Friday.
“In the run up to the elections, there has been no major incidents of violence or communal violence,” she emphasized.
“A total number of 117 minor incidents of violence have been registered across the state. There has been one death, that too is not entirely political in nature,” the DG-IGP said.
"A total of 1229 cases of poll code violations, and a total amount of Rs 166 crore in cash and property have been seized,” she added.
The first meeting between the Election Commission and the police was held on January 17, where the EC had shared detailed guidelines. The Chief Electoral Officer OP Rawat had expressed satisfaction of the existing law and order situation after a presentation by the state police.
Additional Director General of Police Kamalpanth is the nodal officer from the police department reporting to the Election Commission.
Kamalpath said, “All necessary steps have been taken. We are hoping to see people come out to vote in large numbers.”
“Security will be provided by personnel of the state police and central police forces. A total of 585 companies of central para forces have been deployed. The number of personnel deployed from the state is 82,157 including civil, armed, home guard, and forest officers,” he added.
The capital city of Bengaluru will be protected by 45 companies of the CRPF, and 53 platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP). In addition, there will be one company of the Rapid Action Force deployed.
The Election Commission has identified 20% (12,000) of the booths as sensitive and these booths will be primarily manned by central forces, in addition to one state police personnel with the minimum rank of head constable.
In clusters of sensitive booths, 769 quick action striking parties, primarily comprising the Rapid Action Force and the KSRP platoons.
This dedicated anti-riot police have been positioned in Mangaluru, Bengaluru (urban and rural), Mandya, Mysuru, Hubbali-Dharawad and Belgaum.
A total of 36% of the security cover will be done by central forces.Other than that, central forces will be deployed for protecting and transporting EVMs.