Police check vehicles outside RK Nagar polling booths

Ananya Srivastava

Chennai, March 30: There was heavy police presence in most areas of the RK Nagar constituency, which goes to the polls on April 12. The police checked vehicles at random, for arms and cash. Most schools in the constituency, which are used as polling booths, too were protected.

Police Inspector T. Veerakumar said, “There are seven police jurisdictions in Ward 47, which we cover, and 254 polling booths at 51 locations, most of them schools. Each school has between five to seven booths and police is deployed within the range of 100 to 200 metres. Some are monitored by someone with a minimum rank of an Inspector. Sometimes four to five booths are monitored by an inspector alone.”

“Usually rowdy elements are arrested and confined for a period of six months,” he said.

“On the day of the elections, 52 surveillance teams will be deployed including the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).” Veerakumar said that all the facilities are provided in the booths like ramps for disabled people, water, electricity, and restrooms. The Returning Officer, Praveen Nair, at the Zonal Office-IV in Tondiarpet was unavailable.

Inspector N Balakrishna Prabhu in Tondiarpet said that at least 10 CRPF teams will be present on the day of the by-election.

The Chennai High School in R. K. Nagar had three classrooms reserved for polling booths. Kalasthri, the security guard at the Corporation School said, “There are eight booths here and voting has been taking place in this school since the past three elections. The last one [Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Elections in May, 2016] also took place here. CRPF’s presence helps in deterrence of any problems.”

Prakash from Rajasthan who resides in R K Nagar said, “I go to the ECI Matriculation Higher Secondary School to vote and have not encountered any discomfort so far in terms of security and the Election Commission takes care of the facilities.” The ECI School has 12 polling booths.

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