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Police throw security blanket over north Kerala

Move follows intelligence reports of possible violence after counting of votes

Security has been beefed up in north Kerala in view of the counting of votes of the Assembly polls on Sunday.

The deployment of the police along with armed battalions has been finalised in politically and communally sensitive areas, especially in Kozhikode rural and Kannur district. This follows an intelligence input that some regions could witness severe post-poll violence after the election results are out on Sunday.

Already, Section 144 of the CrPC and sections of the Kerala Police Act have been imposed in most of the districts in Malabar to curb the COVID-19 spread. “A three-layer arrangement has been finalised at the counting centres,” Ashok Yadav, IGP, North Zone, told The Hindu on Friday.

He said that the forces would be deployed inside the counting hall, the periphery of the counting centre and outside the designated venue. The usual gathering outside the counting centres would not be allowed, Mr. Yadav said.

The IGP also said that around 400 pickets, 150 mobile patrols, 90 bike patrols in the northern districts. Strike forces would be attached at Station House Officer, DySP and SP levels. Additional manpower and mobile patrols would also be deployed in sensitive regions, he said.

In Kozhikode, the police have identified almost all the Assembly segments in Vadakara taluk as sensitive. They include the constituencies of Vadakara, Nadapuram, Kuttiyadi, and Perambra. In the 2020 polls, Balussery witnessed clashes between Congress and CPI(M) workers.

In Koothuparamba in Kannur district, an IUML worker was hacked to death allegedly by CPI(M) workers in connection with the post-poll violence soon after the three-tier local body polls. Tension is already prevailing between CPI(M) and IUML workers in Panur region, the police said.

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