Tripura polls: From drug menace to border issues, police deal with diverse challenges

Enewstime News Images

Agartala, Jan 31, 2023, IANS

Ahead of the February-16 assembly elections, Tripura Police are confronting diverse challenges - drug menace, cross border movement of intruders, law and orders, providing security to the VVIPs to over 300 election candidates.

A senior police official said that the police stepped up its state-wide vigil against the drug smuggling and seized narcotic substance valued at around Rs 4 crore and arrested several hundred drug peddlers.

"The Election Commission also appreciated the efforts of the Tripura Police and the political parties also had no major complaints about the policing of the Tripura cops," the official said.

He said that all 32 police stations along 856 km India-Bangladesh border with Tripura are working in close coordination with the Border Security Force (BSF) to prevent any illegal intruders and smuggling of drugs and contrabands. The three Election Observers, who last week visited Tripura, asked the BSF to convene meetings immediately with their counterparts to sensitise them to take a more vigilant approach considering the ensuing assembly elections in Tripura.

The three special observers are Yogendra Tripathy, retired IAS officer of Karnataka cadre; Vivek Johri, former Director General of Police of Madhya Pradesh; and B. Murali Kumar, IRS officer, who was special observer in the Assembly elections of Gujarat (2022) and West Bengal (2021). From Tripura, the observers went to Meghalaya, where the Assembly elections will be held on February 27.

The police official said that besides undertaking anti-insurgency operations against the underground elements, special measures have been taken in the mixed populated and ethnic sensitive areas. The Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel were deployed across the state in early January to ensure zero poll violence.

"The flag marches by the CAPF and the Tripura State Rifles have been continued since the second week of January to ensure confidence building among the political workers for campaigning and among the citizens to cast their votes freely without any fear. The security forces are deployed well before the poll process so that they get familiar with the locality. Local police should extend necessary cooperation to the CAPF," the official said.

A large number of fixed police pickets, 3320 Naka points (check gates), installation of hundreds of CCTV, round-the-clock patrolling, inter-state border meetings, preventive arrests, execution of warrants are some of the many measures that have been undertaken to ensure trouble and violence-free elections in Tripura.

Police are also conducting anti-weapon drive, holding all-party coordination meetings at the police station level to district level, supervising security measures by the district Superintendent of Police to Inspector General of police level officers. Criminals and trouble-mongers have been identified and preventive actions have been initiated against them, the official said.

Director General of Police, Amitabh Ranjan, who is personally round-the-clock monitoring the situation and security forces' steps, said: "We would ensure peaceful and violence-free elections. Our officials and personnel are always on maximum alert to deal with any situation."