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Cops, criminals busy with election work!

By Sreeparna Chakrabarty in Ghaziabad
May 02, 2004 20:28 IST
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It may be notorious because of the high crime rate but Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh is enjoying a pleasant experience with outsourcing, that too in maintenance of law and order.

The Lok Sabha elections have created a piquant situation, with about 70% of the police force sent out of the district for duties related to the May 5 poll.

Faced with an acute shortage of policemen, authorities have virtually outsourced the law and order maintenance duties by deploying home guards, fire fighters and hiring private security guards.

"Services of a large number of private security agencies, home guards and fire fighters have been hired to help meet the situation created by abrupt shortage," a senior district police official told PTI.

The regular police personnel will return after the elections, helping bring back the situation to normal.

Interestingly, the crime graph in the district bordering Delhi has witnessed a downside since the general elections got underway, providing much relief to residents.

Police officials feel the reason may be that most criminals have 'gone out for poll-related duties'. Besides, they have also launched a crackdown against anti-social elements ahead of polls, arresting several suspects.

Vehicles carrying liquor have been confiscated because police suspect they may have been meant for distribution during polling.

"Around 2,000 people, mostly known history sheeters and bad elements of the area have been asked to sign undertakings that they would maintain good conduct during elections," Superintendent of Police (Noida City) Anant Dev told PTI.

At least a dozen people have been booked under the Goonda Act to prevent them from disrupting the poll process. Their names have been sent to the District Magistrate for further action.

In yet another measure, residents owning weapons like licensed pistols and other guns have been asked to deposit the same with police under Section 107/106 of the Criminal Procedure Code, Dev said.
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Sreeparna Chakrabarty in Ghaziabad
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