Bellary poll booths turn fortresses

Of 195 booths, 133 identified as hypersensitive; raids, seizure of cash continue

bait Police display the seized currency meant for luring  voters in Bellary Rural Assembly constituency. DH Photo

A total of 1.72 lakh voters will decide the fate of eight candidates in the fray on Wednesday. Of the 195 booths in the constituency, 133 have been identified as hypersensitive and 52 as sensitive.

However identical security has been provided to both categories of booths by deploying police and paramilitary forces.

Wooden barricades have been erected at 76 booths in nine wards under City limits. R Manoj, Chief Electoral Officer (in-charge), took stock of the preparations for the polling. Officials deputed on poll duty reported at designated booths with electronic voting machines on Tuesday.

With public canvassing coming to an end on Monday, three contestants conducted door-to-door campaign on Tuesday.

Arrested

Six persons were arrested for allegedly distributing money to lure voters in two separate incidents.

Police seized Rs 12.62 lakh from Nandish and Krishna Rao who were on their way to Vidyanagar to distribute money among voters.

A sum of Rs 15,000 was seized from Naga, Praveen, Madhu and Tyagaraja who were luring voters with money in Ramanjaneya Nagar.

Police said the arrested were attempting to entice voters in favour of the BJP candidate.

Innovative step

In a bid to check electoral malpractices in the Bellary Rural constituency, Chief Electoral Officer R Manoj has taken an innovative measure called ‘Susceptible Area Management’ in sensitive areas.

The Chief Electoral Officer  has prepared a “worry list” of about 25 locations after consulting the political parties, Manoj said in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Special teams headed by tahsildars are keeping a close watch on those locations, he said. The teams have been directed to conduct raids, if necessary, to prevent any bypoll-related illegal activities.  

“The innovative measure has yielded wonderful results and it will go a long way in conducting the bypoll in a free and fair manner,” he said.

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