Camera surveillance to be intensified at polling booths in Kozhikode

Taking into account the confirmation of several double entries in voters’ lists and the possibility of arguments between booth agents over voters’ identity, the election authorities are considering high-end camera surveillance measures in select polling stations in the district. In Kozhikode Rural area, 430 booths will be under strict surveillance.

Apart from live webcasting, the police and the special squads deployed for election duty will make use of their own camera surveillance teams to record activities. All city and rural police stations have got the required number of professional camera persons to do the task.

In Kozhikode city, the camera surveillance teams will mainly focus on 112 booths. Arrangements are in place to connect all those booths to the district-level webcasting network for live checking. The movement of both voters and polling officials will be monitored by election observers from the district-level control room.

According to officials, the digital records to be sent to the State election authorities at the end of polling will be valid proof to re-examine complaints related to malpractices or violation of the model code of conduct. Since the declaration of the election, various squads on field duty were keen on securing such digital proof to support legal action, they added.

The use of drone cameras owned by the police is also under consideration in bigger polling stations. Officials said the violation of COVID-19 protocol in public places or the flouting of Election Commission’s guidelines could be easily tracked using the aerial surveillance option.

Police officers in charge of hypersensitive booths said permission would not be granted to take photos or videos on behalf of candidates or political parties during polling time. Entry would be controlled in keeping with the COVID-19 protocol, they said.

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