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Telangana Assembly elections: Police officials to use technology to surveil polling booths

Ahead of the assembly elections in Telangana, the state police are taking the help of technology to monitor the ground-level happenings during elections. The technological initiatives include live monitoring of the police personnel posted at the polling centers and also on flying squad duty. The application is now under production that will send hourly reports from booths to police headquarters.

Officials of the police department had conducted a meeting to identify the critical polling stations. The polling booths were identified based on the incidents of violation of the model code of conduct that took place during the 2014 general elections.

After research it was found that there were over 3,300 critical polling stations across the state, with 1,600 among them being identified as hypersensitive polling stations, where additional forces would be deployed to prevent untoward incidents during the polling on December 7.

Additional Director General (Law and Order) Jitender said “Initiatives like developing a software to sync in the existing TS COP application is to pinpoint the personnel deployed at the polling centres and also at the critical centres. A live-tracking facility will be enabled to trace the movement of every officer so that in case of emergency, the nearest stationed officer would be directed to attend.”

He further said, “Another software is being developed to generate reports from all the polling stations on an hourly basis. The reports will be updated online for the review at the state police headquarters and they would be submitted to the Election Commission, as and when required”.

“Around 1,300 cases of violation of the model code of conduct were registered during the previous general elections, and have been charge-sheeted. About 12 cases of Arms Act were also registered,” said the official.

There has also been an increase of polling stations in the state. In 2014, there were 29,732 polling booths which have increased to 32,500. Meanwhile,  1,000 more polling booths are likely to be instated in the wake of addition of 20 lakh voters in the electoral list.

The electoral officer of state had also said earlier that the social media posts of political parties and groups in poll-bound Telangana will come under the Election Commission’s scanner for any objectionable content under the model code of conduct.

Commissioner Sajjanar on Monday said anybody involved in posting or sharing of content or pictures against the candidates, use abusive language or spread false information to defame or degrade any person would be subjected to legal action.

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