Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the smooth and peaceful polling process as four Lok Sabha and 28 Assembly constituencies across Odisha are all set to go to polls in the fourth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections 2024 on May 13. 

“A total of 17,000 platoon police forces, 104 companies of Paramilitary Forces, 66 platoons of SAP and 600 mobile squads will be deployed in different polling booths during the first phase of elections in 4 Lok Sabha and 28 Assembly segments across Odisha. A single mobile party will touch 10 to 12 booths and verify the security arrangements. Their movements will be controlled from the district control room through GPS tracking systems,” said DGP Arun Sarangi in a presser on Sunday.

“With nine districts going to polls, checking has been intensified in the border areas. We have sealed the borders and as many as 51 inter-state border check posts have been set up for the process. CCTV cameras have been installed at the check posts and the district control room is connected with the IPs of the cameras. Similarly, 50 inter-district check posts have been set up and the vehicular movements are being tracked there. A helicopter and an air ambulance have been kept ready. A polling team has reached a booth inside Sunabeda Sanctuary by helicopter. Security arrangements have been intensified in the Mao-affected areas,” added Sarangi.

As per the direction of the Election Commission of India (ECI), as many as 210 flying squads have been formed. They are taking immediate steps regarding MCC violations and other allegations. Besides, as per the guidelines by ECI, as many as 195 static surveillance teams have been formed and are checking vehicles and individuals.

“The flying squads and static surveillance teams will also check bogus voters. Apart from the police department, officials of other departments have also been included in the flying squads and static surveillance teams. As many as 15 EVM-strong rooms have been set up in the nine districts and the EVMs will be stored there after the completion of the polling process. As per the ECI guidelines, the inner security layer of the EVM-strong rooms will be covered by the Paramilitary Forces and the outer security layer will be covered by State Police. For the security of each EVM strong room, one platoon of Paramilitary force and one platoon of State Armed Police will be deployed,” said Sarangi.

“Among the nine districts going to poll tomorrow; Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Nuapada and Kalahandi are Mao-affected districts. We have been doing our regular exercises for the last four months to ensure smooth and peaceful polling in these districts. Our operational forces have been doing continuous operational activities, we have intensified our anti-Naxal intelligence and we have kept a vigil on the movement of the Maoists. We have conducted 539 anti-Naxal operations in these districts in the past four months for the upcoming elections. We have also inducted 138 operation parties of CRPF and BSF jawans, 37 SOG and DVF parties in the area to ensure security during the time of election,” he added.