EVMs, VVPATs reach counting centres in Virudhunagar

Four-tier security in place

Electronic Voting Machines and VVPAT units from all the 2,370 polling booths in Virudhunagar district were kept in strong rooms at the counting centres set up at Sri Vidhya College of Arts and Science and Sri Vidhya College of Engineering and Technology in Virudhunagar.

After the polling got over at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the zonal parties started to collect the EVMS and VVPATs from the Presiding Officers. The materials were moved in special vehicles with armed escorts to the counting centre throughout the night.

The last set of materials reached the counting centre at around 8 p.m.

After arranging the boxes on the specially-made racks inside the strong rooms, the doors were sealed in the presence of District Election Officer R. Kannan, and General Observers for the seven Assembly constituencies and agents of candidates.

The DEO said that closed circuit television cameras were installed inside and outside the strong rooms. Agents of the candidates could monitor the CCTV footage through television sets kept in the counting centres round the clock.

Fire tenders and portable fire-fighting equipment were kept at the centres.

A four-tier security arrangement has been made for all the strong rooms.

While armed Border Security Personnel have been deployed in close quarters, Tamil Nadu Special Police personnel have been put in the second layer of security.

Armed Reserve police personnel form the third circle of bandobust. The outer periphery is guarded by the local police.

Around 200 men, led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police each for the two counting centres, will be available round the clock, the Superintendent of Police, P. Perumal, said.

The strong rooms would be opened on May 2 when the counting of votes will be taken up, Mr. Kannan said.

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