Website Impact! Higher Election Authority Issues Strict Orders to SST to Do Their Job Right

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Website Impact! Higher Election Authority Issues Strict Orders to Static Surveillance Teams (check-posts) Members to Do Their Job Right

Mangaluru: Once again Mangalorean.com has proved one more positive result after highlighting another civic issue -Talk about the power of media, especially Electronic media where we highlight the civic issues and within a few hours or couple of days the concerned authorities who can’t bear the criticism about their negligence, quickly get into action and rectify the civic issues. In the past Mangalorean.com has highlighted various civic issues through our website, and there has been a tremendous effect with most of the problems being fixed in no time, from rectifying dilapidated roads, open drainage, non-friendly footpaths, dog menace, neglected garbage, illegal hoardings, potholes, dying trees etc.

Team Mangalorean had published an article “Static Surveillance Team members Read Newspapers instead of Checking Vehicles?” dated 13 April 2019 in Mangalorean.com, after spotting members at the Static Surveillance Teams (check-posts) located near Nanthoor, Mangaluru, where two cops on duty were busy reading the morning newspapers, while an official also 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?

Within few hours, having coming to know about the news published in our website, all the staff of SST had received a circular from their higher election commissioner ordering them to do their job right, and not to keep themselves busy reading newspapers or browsing through their mobile phones for messages or games. The circular also mentioned that action will be taken against those who neglect their duties. No more reading of newspapers or checking WhatsApp messages on phone, while on duty! Strictly stick to their duties-period. And for that matter, every one of SST are doing their duty right, at the moment.

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, 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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