Saturday, April 14, 2007

Helicopters to do reconnainssance patrolling in Orissa poll

Press Trust of India, PTI
First Published: 00:00 IST(3/1/2007)
Last Updated: 19:43 IST(17/4/2004)

Air Force helicopters would be deployed for reconnaissance patrolling in the four naxalite-infested districts in Orissa while an unprecedented security arrangements have been made with the deployment of state police and central para-military forces for the simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls in the state being held after 33 years.

State police sources said security in Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada and Gajapati, the four districts where naxalites were active, has been geared up on the eve of the first phase of polling on April 20.

Eleven Lok Sabha and 77 asembly constituencies in the western and southern part of the state would go to polls in the first phase.

As many as 30 companies of central para-military forces in addition to 14 companies of state police would be deployed in areas where naxalites were active, the sources said.

For the first time reconnaissance helicopters of the air force would undertake patrolling in the naxalite-hit areas, they said.

The state police, the sources said, has formed 1750 patrolling parties for the two-phase election which would cover all 26,250 polling booths throughout Orissa.
State police sources said the mobile police parties would have a VHF set in the sensative areas which would have a total of 9,839 polling booths.

They said there would one patrol party for every 15 polling booths and each party would have an officer, a havildar and two armed constables with a vehicle.

The sources said altogether 274 inspectors, 2,205 SIS and ASIS,1024 havildars, nearly 12,000 constables, 8,460 home guards and over 11,000 gram rakshis would be on duty during the polling.

Besides them, eight Orissa State Armed Police battalions, one India Reserve Battalion and 50 companies of Central Para- military Forces would be deployed, the sources said.

The forces were being moved to their respective areas for the first phase of election on April 20, the sources said.

The second phase of polling which would include 10 Lok Sabha and 70 assembly seats, would be held on April 26.

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