Assam broke all previous records in seizures of cash, liquor, drugs, and other goods in the run-up to the Assembly polls with various agencies already confiscating over Rs 18 crore worth of items and arresting around 110 people in the last 11 days, officials said on Tuesday. The highest amount of seizures worth over Rs 5.72 crore took place during the 24 hours, starting at 9 am on Sunday, an official told PTI.
After the polls were notified on February 26, all election districts in Assam formed a minimum of three Static Surveillance Teams (SST) and Flying Squads (FS) each, with some even having six such teams each, he added.
"We have 50 election districts and each has at least six teams of SST and FS. So, we have a minimum of 756 teams working across the state. The seizures by all state and central agencies along with SST and FS have crossed all figures of last elections," the official said.
Since the Model Code of Conduct came into force, the agencies have seized an overall Rs 18.31 crore worth of items till Monday, according to the daily seizure report of the Election Department, Assam.
It includes Rs 4.27 crore in cash, liquor (3.58 lakh litres) worth Rs 5.52 crore, Rs 4 crore worth drugs and other narcotics substances, Rs 1 crore worth precious metals such as gold and silver, and Rs 3.52 crore of other items like different freebies.
The various teams and agencies have arrested 100 persons for involvement in illegal liquor and eight persons for narcotics-related crimes since the Model Code of Conduct came into force.
The highest 26 persons were arrested from the Cachar district, followed by 16 in Goalpara and 13 in Sivasagar during the last 11 days, another report by the Election Department said.
On Monday night, Rs 19.55 lakh cash was recovered from three persons in the Barpeta constituency by an SST. As they failed to produce any valid document for the cash, the currencies were seized and deposited at the Treasury Office.
Following such huge seizures across the state, a review meeting was held on Monday in presence of Special Central Observers of the Election Commission with various regulatory agencies.
The meeting was attended by the Special General Observer Sudarsanam Srinivasan, Special Police Observer Ashok Kumar, and Special Expenditure Observer Neena Nigam along with Additional Chief Electoral Officer Vinod Seshan, EC Director-General Dharmendra Sharma, and EC Expenditure Director Pankaj Srivastava.
"A detailed discussion over functioning of various regulatory agencies regarding search, seizure, and maintenance of Law and Order and expenditure monitoring was done," an official statement said.
Various regulatory agencies such as Excise, Police, DRI, NCB, SLBC (SBI), Income Tax, RPF, CISF, CGST, SSB, and BSF presented their performance report with regards to search and seizure.
Of the total 126 seats in Assam Assembly, elections to 47 will be held on March 27, while 39 will go to the polls on April 1, and voting in the remaining 40 seats will be held on April 6.
The counting of votes in Assam will take place on May 2 along with those in four more states.