Static Surveillance Team members Read Newspapers instead of Checking Vehicles?


Static Surveillance Team members Read Newspapers instead of Checking Vehicles?

Mangaluru: There are officials who do the right job, and then there are others who don’t do the job right- and here is an example of two cops and an official of the Static Surveillance Teams (check-posts) located near Nanthoor, Mangaluru. Saturday, 13 April 2019, around 6.45 am, yours truly passing by this check post spotted two cops busy reading the morning newspapers, while an official on duty was busy browsing on his smartphone for WhatsApp messages etc. And during that time, there were quite a few vehicles passing through the check post, without been checked by these three personnel, who are supposed to be on duty?. How nice to have people like these who don’t do their job right!

I agree everyone needs a break while on duty- but it’s not right if all three staff posted on this duty, take a break at the same time, reading newspapers and checking their messages, etc on their mobile. A few days ago, a media had published a report that the team members at such check posts are not doing their jobs sincerely and right. Isn’t it time that the higher authorities keep an eye on such staff, so that they do their duties, and not take it easy.

To stem the flow of liquor and cash during the Lok Sabha elections, and for effective monitoring of the poll process in the Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha Constituency the DK District Administration has constituted Flying Squads and Static Surveillance Teams (check-posts). A bunch of these Static Surveillance Teams have been constituted for assisting the Election Commission in implementing the Model Code of Conduct. These squads will remain functional till the completion of polls.

The Flying Squads are headed by officials with Executive Magisterial power and comprise Police officials, and videographers for recording all their activities on a daily basis. The squads have been entrusted with the responsibility to attend to all complaints of threat, intimidation, movement of anti-social elements, liquor, arms and ammunition, and a large sum of cash for the purpose of bribing of electors. The squads have also been assigned the task of videography of all major rallies, public meetings, and other major expenses made by political parties.

Each team has to submit a report in respect of seizures made on a daily basis to the returning officer. Expenditure-sensitive areas will be the focus to check on illegal activities. All the check-posts are already functioning 24×7 and they are keeping a hawk’s eye on election-related malpractices. Unexplained cash above Rs.50,000 will be seized. It will be released only after it is proven that it has nothing to do with the elections. If the seized amount from any individual is above Rs.10 lakh, it will be referred to the Income Tax Department.

Comprehensive instructions for the purpose of effective monitoring of the election expenditure of the candidates are issued, which include, the formation of 73 flying squads, 69 static surveillance teams, 169 sector officers and 25 video surveillance teams. In addition, police and excise department have set up check posts wherever required. People carrying cash of Rs 50,000 to 10 lakh need have the relevant documents, which will be checked by the authorities. If the documents are found to be genuine, you are out of trouble. But, in case, if the authority feels that the cash found belongs to any candidate or party, then the same will be seized, and proper investigation will be done.

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