To ensure free, fair and transparent assembly elections next month in Punjab, the police have intensified search operations, especially in the border districts, to keep a vigil on illegal activities in vulnerable areas.
The operations are being assisted by the BSF, Punjab Armed Police, CID Units and Special Branch, besides the Excise and Taxation Department and Dog squad and anti-sabotage teams, Chief Director Ishwar Singh of the vigilance bureau-cum-state police nodal officer said on Monday.
He said apart from carrying out conventional combat and search operations, the Punjab Police has also been using technology-driven policing by deploying drones to conduct aerial surveys to cover inaccessible areas of Mand along the Beas and Sutlej rivers.
He said during the search operations special attention is being paid to desolate locations, unpaved roads, tube-wells, freshly dugout areas and freshly cleared areas inside fields besides Deras outside villages.
Punjab DGP Punjab V K Bhawra along with Ishwar Singh had on Saturday held a high-level meeting with the state's commissioners and senior superintendents of police, besides the police and intelligence officers of adjoining states to prevent the inflow of drugs in the state, which goes to polls on February 20.
During the meeting, the DGP gave clear instructions to all the CPs/SSPs in the states to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and bootlegging ahead of the elections.
Ishwar Singh said the meeting has galvanised all the force and the synergy is already visible in terms of the recent recovery of illicit liquor and drugs in the state.
In an official statement on Monday, he said the teams of Joint Task Forces have been constituted in each district and raids are being conducted on a routine basis to ensure that no illegal activity takes place during the elections.
On Monday, the Amritsar Rural Police recovered 1,100 litres of illicit liquor, while the Batala police recovered 620 kg of illicit liquor during raids, he added.
Meanwhile, the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar police on Monday launched a massive search operation in the Mand Belt of the district.
SBS Nagar's SSP Kanwardeep Kaur said the district police with the help of district administration, has strengthened the security at inter-district "nakas" with the help of the paramilitary forces.
Apart from that night patrolling and day flag marches have also been started to give a strong message to the anti-social elements, she said.
She said a massive search operation was launched in the Mand belt adjoining the Sutlej river in the SBS district with the help of the Central Armed Police Forces.
A drone survey was conducted during this operation to check the forest pockets alongside Dhussi Bandh, starting from the jurisdiction of police station Balachaur Sadar, Rahon up to Aur.
She said the officials from the Excise Department were also roped in this search operation.