Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena on Saturday said tight security has been put in place for re-poll in seven booths, three in Kannur and four in Kasargod on Sunday.
The presiding officers have been directed to follow EC direction on identification of burqa clad or purdah clad women electors.
CEO has directed to depute women officials for identification of the voters in such booths. A woman assistant will be deployed for identification of women. This is a mandatory requirement for identifying if the voter is genuine or not. This is the responsibility of the first polling officer as well as the polling agents.
The EC guideline says, “if sufficiently large number of burqa clad women electors are assigned in a polling station you should make special arrangements for their identification and application of indelible ink on the left forefinger by a lady polling officer in a separate enclosure. Giving due regard to the privacy, dignity and decency of the women. For such special enclosure you may use locally available and absolutely inexpensive devices.”
Rule 49 H permits the presiding officer to employ at the polling stations such persons as he thinks fit to help identify the electors or assist him otherwise in implementing the EC directions.
The services of a local woman is required to identify such electors. The returning officer or presiding officer may appoint a woman to serve as an attendant. “We have directed the returning officers and presiding officers to comply with the EC norms,” said CEO.
CPM Kannur district secretary M.V. Jayarajan had earlier raised the issue of identification of burqa clad women.
DGP Loknath Behara who was also present at the CEO presser, said the police has made elaborate security arrangements for the re-poll. Striking force, members of armed force and local police personnel will be deployed. Nobody will be allowed to interfere with the polling process. all arrangements till be taken to prevent any untoward incident before and after counting.
“Adequate police have been deployed. I don’t think there will be any problem,” the state police chief said.
The CEO said new EVMs and VVPAT will be used for the re-poll. The machines which were used on April 23, will be kept in the strong rooms.