Security strengthened ahead of Tamil Nadu by-pollJanuary 2nd, 2009 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS
Madurai (Tamil Nadu), Jan 2 (IANS) Eight companies of central paramilitary forces will be deployed in Tamil Nadu’s Tirumangalam assembly constituency ahead of the Jan 9 by-poll, the run-up to which was marred by violence, officials said Friday. “The effective numbers of men in the eight companies of central forces will be around 500 men though a company comprises of a little over 100 personnel. They will augment the law and order machinery in Tirumangalam,” Tamil Nadu’s Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta told IANS.
The official, however, declined to comment on the exchange of charges by the ruling and opposition parties on the law and order situation during the run-up to the election.
“The Election Commission’s job is to ensure free and fair elections and all our endeavours are only in that direction. I do not wish to react to any comment from anyone,” Gupta said.
State Deputy Election Commissioner J.P. Prakash told reporters here that all measures were being undertaken to prevent bogus voting and other disturbances during the poll. The seat fell vacant after the death of MDMK lawmaker Veera Ilavarasan Nov 8.
“We have ordered that video cameras be placed in all polling stations and we have banned the entry of unauthorised vehicles into the constituency. Strict action will be initiated against those creating trouble,” Prakash said.
Three senior Tamil Nadu police officials were transferred Thursday on the directions of the state Election Commission following reports of violence. But the ruling and opposition parties continued to trade charges, accusing each other of violating the code of conduct.
“The ruling DMK indulged in violence with the assistance of the police and yet AIADMK legislator A.R. Samy and dozens of cadres continue to languish in prison while no action has been taken against the wrongdoers themselves, except transferring three officials,” MDMK leader Vaiko told reporters.
Over 60 AIADMK cadres, including legislator A.R. Samy, have been remanded to judicial custody till Jan 13.
“The opposition has been making baseless charges on the basis of sure support from Gupta,” state Electricity Minister and DMK principal secretary Arcot N. Veerasamy said over telephone from Chennai.