Security in the nation’s tech hub Bengaluru has been stepped up ahead of the Karnataka Assembly polls on Saturday, Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar said on Friday.
“A total of 10,500 policemen, 4,500 armed police and 2,500 home guards are being deployed ahead of the elections on Saturday,” Kumar told reporters here.
Polling will be held across 27 of the total 28 constituencies in the state capital, after the election in Jayanagar segment was countermanded by the Election Commission due to the death of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4.
Police personnel would be stationed across 7,477 polling stations where voting would take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We have identified 1,469 polling booths as critical (sensitive),” Kumar added.
Over 150 senior-rank police officers would monitor security across the city.
“Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that prohibits gathering of more than five people at one place at a time has also been imposed across the city till 6 p.m. on Sunday to prevent any untoward incidents,” the police officer said.
Director General and Inspector General of Police Neelamani N. Raju said over 1,40,000 security personnel have so far been deployed across the state to ensure ‘free and fair’ polling.
“A total of 585 companies of paramilitary forces are deployed across over 20,000 polling booths, including nearly 12,000 critical booths,” Raju told reporters here.
The southern state has a total of 58,008 polling stations, across its 224 constituencies.
Polling will be held for 223 constituencies on Saturday after the election to Jayanagar seat in Bengaluru was postponed.
The EC has set up 600 all-women run polling booths to push voter percentage among women. Twenty eight special polling booths bearing an ethnic look have also been set up in the state to encourage primitive and nomadic tribes to vote.
Over 4.96 crore voters, including 2.52 crore men, 2.44 crore women and over 4,500 people who identify themselves as ‘transgenders’, have registered to vote.
A total of 15.42 lakh voters, aged 18-19, have registered to cast their ballot for the first time.
The voter turnout in the previous Assembly election held in the state in 2013 was 71.45 per cent. The poll panel hopes the voting percentage would surpasses 75 per cent in 2018, after it held several voting awareness programmes across the state.