Mumbai: For the forthcoming assembly elections in the state, a separate plan of action is being chalked out by the state police to contain the spate of violence in Solapur district, which had recorded the maximum number poll-related cognisable offences during the 2014 assembly polls.
Of the 971 cognisable offences registered across the 36 districts of the state during the 2014 assembly polls, Solapur district alone had reported 93, thereby topping the list.
Interestingly, the Naxal-infested districts of Gadchiroli, Chandrapur and Gondia were fairly calmer during the last assembly polls by registering 25, 27 and 30 cases respectively, as per the information compiled by the state police.
Solapur was followed by Parbhani (82 cases) and Aurangabad (82 cases) while Pune and Thane districts were distant thirds with 48 cases each recorded during the electioneering process. Mumbai (both city and suburbs) remained relatively peaceful as both districts had a total of 38 cases reported during that time.
A senior official from the Director General of Police (DGP) office said that the spike in the number of offences reported in Solapur district last time was mainly on account of the profile of candidates who were in the fray, pitted from the 10 assembly seats in the district.
“Over 90 per cent of those offences related to personal fights between supporters of rival candidates which were given political colour during the election time,” the official, who spoke to FPJ on the condition of anonymity, claimed.
The official said that though request for commensurate security has been made to the Election Commission, the figures could change in future. “This is because poll-related violence in the district is closely associated with the background of the candidate/s in the fray.
Once the picture gets clear following the withdrawal of nominations (on October 7), the final security plan would be chalked out,” the official said.
Sources said the maximum number of poll-related violence in the district had been reported from Aklalkot, which witnessed two murders and over half a dozen of attempted murders during the 2014 polls.
As per the present estimation, the state police administration has decided to deploy 11 companies (roughly around 1,100 personnel) of paramilitary forces (of the total 350 companies requitioned for the state) across the rural and urban pockets in the district during the elections. This will be in addition to the 11,000 strong district police force.
“The deployment may go up as per the needs,” the official said. Along with Solapur, security in other violence affected districts would also be reinforced during the polls, the official stated.
By Debasish Panigrahi