542 held with drugs, arms since poll code imposition : The Tribune India

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542 held with drugs, arms since poll code imposition

88% of licensed arms deposited, 132 FIRs lodged, all 70 plaints disposed of in CP limits

542 held with drugs, arms since poll code imposition

CP Kuldeep Singh Chahal and DC Sakshi Sawhney take stock of strongrooms and counting centres in Ludhiana on Monday.



Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, May 20

Pulling all stops under to further intensify its drive against violators of the model code of conduct (MCC), which was in force since March 16 when the Lok Sabha elections were announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Ludhiana Commissionerate of Police (CP) have arrested 542 criminals, smugglers and gangsters with huge cache of drugs, liquor, arms, ammunition and cash during the past almost two months.

Under the special campaign to ensure implementation of the MCC in letter and in spirit and maintain the law and order situation across the Ludhiana CP, which was spread across eight Assembly segments, including seven under Ludhiana and one under Fatehgarh Sahib Lok Sabha constituency, the police have so far registered 132 FIRs and 2 DDRs under various offences punishable under the relevant provisions of the NDPS Act, Excise Act, Arms Act and the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1985, and other relevant law provisions against the arrested persons.

Besides, almost 88 per cent of the total over 19,447 licensed arms had so far been deposited with the local police and the registered gun houses, as mandated by the prohibitory order issued by District Magistrate (DM) Sakshi Sawhney last month. All 70 poll-related complaints of criminal nature received by the commissionerate since the implementation of the poll code have also been disposed of.

Commissioner of Police (CP) Kuldeep Singh Chahal told The Tribune here on Monday that a strict vigil was being maintained across the limits of eight police sub-divisions and 28 police stations falling under the CP jurisdiction to ensure proper enforcement of the poll code and check activities of anti-social elements and criminals.

He said besides 17 special nakas (checkpoints), of which eight nakas were being monitored through CCTV cameras, set up across the city, 72 special mobile surveillance teams, including flying squad and surveillance teams, static surveillance teams, and video surveillance teams were fanned out with nine teams patrolling each Assembly constituency in triple shift.

“Regular coordination meetings are being held with counterparts at the district, sub-division and police station levels,” Chahal said while revealing that special control rooms and a separate WhatsApp group have been created for sharing the real-time information on poll code violations.

The Ludhiana top cop said a company of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), comprising 74 personnel, had arrived here so far, which was being used for monitoring inter-district nakas.

Issuing stern warning to arms licence holders, who have not yet deposited their licensed weapons even after the lapse of the March 31 deadline, the CP said as many as 16,531 of the total 19,447 licensed arms had so far been deposited in compliance of the DM’s prohibitory order while 643 had so far been exempted as per law provisions, which together accounted for 88.31 per cent of the total licensed arms registered in the CP limits. There were a total of 16,239 arms licence holders in Ludhiana.

“A special screening committee has been formed and is fully functional to scrutinise the arms licences and gun houses,” he said while stating that there were 16 gun houses in Ludhiana, which had already been inspected by DSP-rank officers and their security-related audit has also been conducted.

Chahal said 86 drug smugglers had been arrested in 65 cases registered under the NDPS Act since March 16 while 74 liquor smugglers had been caught in 59 cases lodged under the Excise Act since the poll code implementation.

Besides, 11 criminals had been arrested in eight cases registered under the Arms Act so far. The recovery from the arrested persons included 79.5 kg poppy husk, 69.6 kg ganja, 2.934 kg heroin, 4.1 kg opium, 55 gram party drug, popularly known as ICE, 13 gm of intoxicant powder, 13,427.41 litres of licit liquor, 11.25 litres of illicit liquor, 1,412.4 litres of beer, 82,279 litres of lahan and Rs 32,83,400 unaccounted cash.

Acting tough against criminals, especially gangsters, troublemakers, history-sheeters, and escapees, the police have so far arrested 11 gangsters, 228 POs/ absconders and have deleted 584 such elements from the records following the legal process. Besides, 125 of the total 201 identified troublemakers and history-sheeters have so far been bound as per legal provisions while the hunt was on for the remaining 76 such troublemakers and history-sheeters. Of the total 12 escapees, seven have already been apprehended.

Of the total 4,060 POs and absconders, including 3,134 wanted under Section 299 of the CrPC and 926 evading arrests under Sections 82 and 83 of the CrPC, as many as 228 have so far been arrested while the names of 584 have been deleted from the records following the legal process. With the addition of 204 more such elements since March 16, the police were still on the lookout for 3,452 POs and absconders in Ludhiana. However, 62 of the total 66 non-bailable warrants (NBWs) issued since January 1 have been executed here.

ENFORCEMENT STEPPED UP: Police Commissioner

“We have pulled all stops to further intensify the strict surveillance through special nakas, mobile teams and search operations to ensure proper enforcement of the poll code and maintain the law and order situation in the run up to the elections. The routine security and checking drives are continuing as usual. We have 666 polling locations across 8 Assembly segments spread under 8 police sub-divisions and 28 police stations, of which 164 have been identified as vulnerable, where special security arrangements will be put in place.” — Kuldeep Singh Chahal, CP.

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