With panchayat polls approaching in Odisha, the police are gearing up by launching a special drive to put anti-socials in Berhampur, Boudh, Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal behind bars, as a first step.
Inspector General of Police (Southern Range) Amitabh Thakur has asked the superintendents of police to launch a special drive to put the anti-socials behind bars before the elections for the rural bodies, scheduled to be held in February, next year.
"Apart from the special drive, we have asked them to prepare a list of troublemakers, identify the vulnerable areas keeping in view pre and post-poll violence reported in the previous election and to make a list of the areas categorized as hyper sensitive, sensitive and low-sensitive for trouble-free panchayat elections," Thakur said.
In the last panchyat election held in 2012, as many as 138 poll-related cases had been registered in the five police districts.
"These election-related cases were in pre, post poll phases as well as during elections," official sources said.
The highest number of 47 poll-related cases had been registered under Berhampur police district while Ganjam (45), Boudh (27), Gajapati (17) too reported election related incidents.
"Only two such cases had been registered in Kandhamal district," they added.
The sources said no poll-related causalty was, however, reported in these districts in the last panchayat elections.
"The SPs have been asked to conduct raids and strongly deal with crimes against women, weaker sections and to create awareness about sorcery among the people," sources said.