The State Government is pulling all the stops to ensure peace and security as residents of rural areas in Jharkhand come out to cast their votes in the first phase of three-tier panchayat elections on Sunday.
The polling officers and security personnel have left for their respective cluster points from where they will be despatched to the polling respective stations.
1013 polling parties have been deployed for 1013 polling stations where the first phase of panchayat elections will be conducted. Out of this, 479 have been classified as hyper-sensitive and 333 are sensitive due to presence of extremist outfits.
As the panchayat elections are being held using ballot boxes, the training imparted to designated officers had been aimed at preparing them for the transition from electronic voting machines, used for Assembly and parliamentary elections, to the conventional tools.
After voting ends, the boxes will be escorted to strong rooms by patrolling magistrates, who will be accompanied by security forces. They will be under lockdown once they get there, under the watchful eyes of security personnel, who will be stationed at strong rooms till counting begins.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) NN Pandey has instructed the district administrations to leave no stone unturned in ensuring a secure and peaceful panchayat elections and to keep every emergency service on alert to tackle any untoward incident.
Security arrangements have been kept at par with elections conducted for higher positions in democratic structure. The only exception is that Central para-military forces have been deployed only at strong rooms, and not at polling booths. Still, CRPF, SSB and other para-military forces will be utilised for facilitating the district police forces in their duties during the panchayat polls.