ECI issues guidelines for peaceful 2024 general elections: ‘Focus on tight border surveillance, enhanced security in high-risk states’

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued directives to all Chief Secretaries, Director Generals of Police (DGP), and heads of central agencies to ensure peaceful and inducement-free General Elections for the year 2024.

This directive comes ahead of General Elections and aims to maintain law and order, prevent illicit activities, and uphold the integrity of the electoral process.

News agency KNS reported that the ECI convened a crucial meeting with representatives from all States and Union Territories (UTs) to assess the prevailing law and order situation and to review measures for preventing illicit activities.

The meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar and attended by other Election Commissioners along with top officials from States, UTs, and central agencies, emphasized the need for seamless coordination and cooperation among stakeholders.

CEC Rajiv Kumar reiterated the Commission’s commitment to conducting free, fair, peaceful, and inducement-free elections.

He urged all stakeholders to translate their resolve into concrete actions, ensuring that every voter can exercise their right to vote without fear or intimidation.

Key issues discussed during the meeting included enhanced coordination among neighboring States and UTs, deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), logistical support for CAPF movement, identification and monitoring of potential flashpoints, preemptive measures to address communal tensions, and securing porous borders against illegal activities.

Particular attention was given to curbing the movement of contraband items such as narcotics, liquor, arms, and explosives across international borders.

The Commission directed the identification of exit and entry points for the movement of illicit goods, including liquor and cash, along borders.

Moreover, the meeting reviewed support from the Indian Air Force and state civil aviation departments for facilitating the movement of polling teams in challenging regions. Adequate security measures were mandated to safeguard political functionaries and candidates, especially in regions with heightened threat perceptions.

General directions encompassed various aspects of law and order, including the establishment of integrated check posts, intelligence sharing, sealing of inter-state borders during the last 48 hours before polling, and intensified patrolling.

Expenditure monitoring measures included plugging the inflow of illicit items, strengthening monitoring at checkpoints, joint operations by multiple departments, and strict actions against offenders.

Specific directives were also issued to central agencies responsible for guarding international borders, emphasizing strict vigilance and coordination with state police and other security forces.

In conclusion, the ECI’s directives aim to ensure the smooth conduct of elections by addressing potential challenges and vulnerabilities. By fostering cooperation among all stakeholders, the Commission seeks to uphold the democratic principles of free and fair elections in the country.

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