City police and Crime Branch have drawn up a list of criminals in each constituency and will keep tabs to ensure voters are not strong-armed
In this election, the only show of strength will be by the Mumbai Police. As the election race is heating up, the city cops and Crime Branch are also gearing up to ensure there is no trouble from anti-social elements and gangsters.
With the BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP all contesting the polls separately, and other parties fighting for their piece of the election pie, many jurisdictions are likely to see a close contest, and chances of clashes are high.
Officers have been asked to submit a list of notorious criminals and miscreants who can possibly create nuisance during the elections.
“During every election, Mumbai Police keeps a close watch on criminal elements. For the BMC election, we are keeping close watch on areas where voters and candidates are vulnerable to undue influence,” said Sanjay Saxena, joint commissioner (Crime).
The police commissioner has already ordered the city police to keep a constant watch on sensitive zones and the force will also aerially observe selected polling booths. The Crime Branch has also chalked out a strategy to tackle the menace in coming days. All 12 units and other cell of the branch have been alerted by the top brass and the force will impose Section 151 (3) of CRPC to keep the peace.
“The municipal elections are really important for us. As every political party will try to reach each and every household, clashes are likely to take place. To ensure a peaceful election, we always keep tabs on notorious criminals,” said a cop.
In the past, infamous gangsters would wield considerable influence on voters as well as candidates, like Chhota Rajan in Chembur, or Dawood Ibrahim in Nagpada.
This time, the police top brass has ordered units to activate informers to get minute details of all activity in their area. Officers have also asked their informers to keep tabs on the strategies of parties, to avert any potential law and order crisis.