Ahead of vote, searches across Delhi

DelhiThe guns seized by the Special Cell on Tuesday. Prem nath pandey

A security blanket was thrown over the capital on the eve of Voting Day. Searches were being carried out to check misuse of money, liquor and musclemen ahead of polling on Wednesday.

Increased vigilance resulted in the Special Cell busting an interstate gun runners' racket on Tuesday evening. Three men were arrested and 22 pistols and an equal number of magazines were seized. Police said the cache of arms was hidden in three cavities drilled into the body of a Santro.

According to police, the three men— identified as Salaam (52), Kalua (57) and Pradeep Mandlik (24) — had procured the weapons from Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh and were bringing them to Delhi and NCR.

DCP (Special Cell) Sanjeev Yadav said the pistols had a 'Made in England' mark on them. Yadav said the weapons were to be supplied in Kardampuri and Mangolpuri in Outer Delhi.

The three were arrested after police received a specific tip-off about weapons being smuggled into the city in a Santro. Police intercepted the car on Wazirabad Road, near Nandnagari. "Two persons were standing outside the car, while the driver remained in the car. Our team managed to overpower the three. We searched the car and recovered the pistols hidden in the car's body," a police officer said.

Meanwhile, EC officials said extra police personnel have been deployed to guard 630 booths, which have been identified as critical and hyper-critical.

These booths will have a two-tier security, one comprising Delhi Police personnel and the other of paramilitary forces.

"In these critical booths, apart from the two tier-security, we will also have micro-observers to keep a tab on the proceedings inside the booth," Chief Election Officer Vijay Dev said.

"The number of police personnel deployed on poll duty has gone up from 35,000 during the last elections to 64,000. Besides, 107 companies of central paramilitary forces have also been deployed," an EC official said.

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