Central Armed Police Forces and Tamil Nadu police are guarding the EVMs round the clock
A three-tier security arrangement has been made at all the four counting centres where polled electronic voting machines (EVMs), along with voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units, have been kept in strong rooms.
Personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces, the Armed Reserve, the Tamil Nadu Special Police and the city police are guarding the centres round the clock.
The counting centres are Loyola College, Queen Mary’s College, Anna University and Madras Christian College. All EVMs and VVPAT units were sealed after the April 6 polling for the Assembly election and brought to these centres amid tight security. Counting is scheduled for May 2. City Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal and District Election Officer-cum-Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash have been visiting these centres to inspect the security.
“As per the guidelines of the Election Commission of India, we are providing three-tier security to these centres. In the first tier, which is the innermost perimeter, the Central Armed Police Forces personnel mount guard with arms round the clock. The second tier is manned by the State armed police and the third tier is covered by the local police. No one is allowed to enter the inner perimeter without following the protocol. The premises are under the surveillance of CCTV cameras, and representatives of the political parties or the candidates can access the images,” Mr. Aggarwal said.
The Central Armed Police Forces are maintaining a log book to register the name of anyone crossing the security ring — the middle perimeter — besides the date, time, and duration of the visit. Even the visits by observers or the District Election Officers or the SPs or the Commissioners of Police or the candidates or their agents or any other person are logged. Video cameras have been given to the contingent to record all visits.
The Returning Officers or the District Election Officers should visit the storage campus every morning and evening and check the log book and video footage. They will have to send a report every day, say the guidelines.