Arms, cash, illicit liquor: Punjab goes to political war (Punjab Newsletter)January 8th, 2012 - 2:52 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, Jan 8 (IANS) Figure this out: Over Rs.15 crore ($2.8 million) of unaccounted cash, 149,000 licensed arms deposited, 160,000 lakh litres of illicit liquor and over 155,000 kg of poppy husk seized, some 7,500 non-bailable warrants executed, 1,721 people warned and much more.All these figures are not from a war-zone but from the electoral arena as Punjab holds elections Jan 30 for its 117 assembly seats.
At a time when majority of the leading candidates have not even filed their nominations, the last date being Jan 12, these seizures have been made by the authorities in Punjab in just a fortnight after assembly polls were announced by the Election Commission (EC).
“The static surveillance teams are enforcing the model code of conduct (for elections) effectively. We have given them clear instructions that no leniency should be shown to anyone,” Punjab’s special chief electoral officer Usha R. Sharma said here.
The model code of conduct was imposed Dec 24.
Denying media reports that the EC teams were not searching the vehicles of politicians, Sharma said the EC has sent clear directions and guidelines that “not a single vehicle would go unchecked by the flying squads and static surveillance teams”.
The teams, constituted under the directions of the EC, seized over Rs.14.2 million Jan 5. On an earlier occasion, the seizure on one day even touched Rs.20 million.
“Most of this seizure is from people carrying them in vehicles. While in some cases, the cash was for business purposes or property deals, the person carrying it has to justify the money with proper documents from banks etc. All unaccounted money is seized as this could be for election purposes,” an election official, on condition of anonymity, told IANS here.
In another instance Jan 4, the surveillance teams seized foreign currency worth Rs.6 million from a person near Jagraon town.
“The person could not show documents to account for such huge amount of foreign exchange. The money has been delivered to the enforcement directorate for further investigation,” joint chief electoral officer Gurkirat Kirpal Singh said.
Though 148,787 licensed weapons have been deposited across the state by their owners to the police and local authorities, security agencies are keeping a strict eye on any illegal arms being used. At least 30 such weapons have already been seized.
Last week, the Border Security Force seized sophisticated 9-mm Chinese-made pistols and a ‘pump-action’ hand-gun from close to the India-Pakistan international border in the Ferozepur sector.
Following the announcement of elections, the police have been directed to get strict with criminal-minded elements. As a result, 7,444 non-bailable warrants have been executed and 1,721 people, who could create trouble, have been bound down (detained) till the election process is over.
(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Election Commission is winner in Punjab polls (Punjab Newsletter) - Feb 04, 2012
- Rs.120 mn cash, illicit liquor seized in poll-bound Punjab - Dec 31, 2011
- Rs.29 crore in unaccounted cash seized in Punjab - Jan 23, 2012
- A tale of drinks and drugs as Punjab votes - Jan 29, 2012
- Hours before poll panel's arrival, Rs.85 lakh seized in Punjab - Dec 26, 2011
- Rs.3.5 crore seized in Punjab - Dec 28, 2011
- Poll panel rejects Punjab's octroi abolition, more cash seized - Dec 27, 2011
- Rs.5 crore cash seized in poll-bound Punjab - Dec 29, 2011
- Poll panel makes huge seizure of unaccounted cash in Uttar Pradesh - Jan 14, 2012
- Poll panel enhances cash carrying limit - Dec 30, 2011
- 53,000 arrests made in Bengal ahead of polls - Apr 08, 2011
- Poll panel disbands Punjab flying squads - Feb 02, 2012
- Cash for votes rains in Tamil Nadu, Rs.3.82 mn seized - Apr 03, 2011
- Poll panel has power to seize cash, court told - Mar 28, 2011
- No one cures Punjab's drug problem (Punjab Newsletter) - Feb 10, 2012
Tags: assembly polls, assembly seats, chief electoral officer, currency worth, election official, election purposes, electoral arena, flying squads, foreign currency, illicit liquor, lakh litres, last date, leniency, model code, political war, proper documents, property deals, r sharma, usha, worth rs