Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maoist focus at police poll meet

SHASHANK SHEKHAR


Bokaro, March 23: The IG of North Chotanagpur, K.S. Meena, has convened a high-level meeting of senior police officials from the bordering districts of Bengal namely Burdwan, Asansol and Purulia and their counterparts in Bokaro and Dhanbad on Wednesday to discuss strategy in controlling Maoist terror in the run-up to next month’s general elections.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of serious efforts by the Bokaro district administration to come up with a comprehensive plan for holding peaceful elections in the district 70 per cent of which falls under the Naxalite zone.

Elections in Bokaro district, which includes the two parliamentary seats of Dhanbad and Giridih, will be held on April 23.

After a series of meetings with security forces, top police officers including CRPF and CISF commandants, the district administration had declared that 1,150 booths of among the 1,462 in Bokaro were sensitive or super-sensitive, making them vulnerable to Maoist attacks or violent clashes between various communities.

Of the 1,150 booths, 550 falling under the Maoists’ area have been branded super-sensitive whereas the remaining 600 booths where political muscle-flexing could lead to rigging of votes have been marked as sensitive.

According to officials, the district administration would require about 25,000 security personnel that include 1,800 inspectors, 4,600 sub-inspectors and 18,000 constables, besides paramilitary forces for the smooth conduct of voting.

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