LS polls: Preventive cases against rowdy-sheeters
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LS polls: Preventive cases against rowdy-sheeters

February 29, 2024

Close watch on influx of arms and ammunitions, cash transactions, high-interest lending activities

Mysore/Mysuru: Amidst the escalating verbal clashes among political parties in anticipation of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections and their concerted efforts to sway voters even before the official announcement of election dates, the Mysuru City and District Police have embarked on a proactive initiative.

They have commenced the process of identifying individuals with a history of criminal activities such as rowdy-sheeters, habitual offenders, goondas, criminals, and extortionists.

The objective is to compile comprehensive dossiers on these individuals to pre-emptively thwart any potential disruptions they might pose during the elections. This pre-emptive measure underscores the authorities’ commitment to ensuring the smooth conduct of the electoral process and maintaining public order during this crucial period.

Preventive arrest

Preventive cases are being lodged against known criminals, defaulters and other anti-social elements and the cases are leading up to arrests and custodies. The primary aim of this operation is to ensure that criminal elements are not out in the field to disrupt a free and fair electoral process.

As the elections draw near, there is a growing concern over the rise in illegal activities orchestrated by goonda elements and rowdies. Some of these individuals have already aligned themselves with prominent political candidates, offering their support in exchange for bolstering voter turnout.

While the candidates may claim ignorance of their supporters’ illicit activities, the information on criminal elements will empower the administration to take decisive action against these troublemakers.

According to the Police, gangsters who have maintained a low profile are expected to become more active as the elections approach. Many of these criminals have established strong political connections, amplifying their influence with the backing of muscle power.

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This poses a significant threat to public security during the electoral process. It has been observed that several gangsters have affiliated themselves with different political parties, enticed by lucrative deals offered in exchange for their support.

Cash transfers, high interest rates

Police teams are maintaining vigilant surveillance on various fronts to monitor the potential influx of arms and ammunition, cash transactions, high-interest lending activities, significant withdrawals from banks and financial institutions, as well as patterns in local money-lending practices.

Additionally, they are closely scrutinising the pledging of valuable assets such as gold and other valuables at  pawn shops.

Furthermore, undercover informants are strategically positioned in bars and restaurants to gather intelligence on cash transfers and other suspicious activities. By posing as customers, these informants discreetly collect valuable information that aids law enforcement in pre-empting any unlawful activities or attempts to influence the electoral process through illicit means.

Each Police Station is closely watching and monitoring the activities of the rowdy elements in their limits including those who have been booked under Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Goonda Act.

Surrender of firearms

Following the announcement of election dates, the Police will enact a stringent policy aimed at ensuring public safety. Residents will be requested to deposit their licensed firearms at Police Stations, where the weapons will be meticulously catalogued and prepared for secure storage.

Furthermore, checkpoints will be established round the clock along district main roads, State and National Highways, as well as in taluk, district, and State border areas.

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Police personnel will conduct vehicle inspections in shifts at designated locations, with a focus on expediting the processing of individuals with criminal backgrounds who have spent time in jail and are subsequently released on bail.

Ongoing surveillance by plainclothes Police officers will continue, particularly targeting individuals without specific occupations. Upon the enforcement of the Election Model Code of Conduct, individuals under surveillance will be liable to preventive arrest, senior Police officials said.

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