Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Poll preparations on in Naxal-infested areas

Statesman News Service

MALKANGIRI, March 18: The district administration of Naxal-infected Malkangiri has started the poll preparations even as the Red rebels have started terrorising the electorate, political parties and leaders to refrain from election-related activities.
Keeping the threat perception in mind, the district has demanded three choppers including two MI-17 and one Chetak helicopters and as many as 25 company of paramilitary force from the centre. District collector Dr Nitin Bhanudas Jawale informed that the choppers will be used for dropping and airlifting of polling parties to the sensitive and remote, inaccessible booths besides maintaining surveillance.
“These demands have been made keeping the violent activities in the district and neighbouring areas including Dantewada during the Assembly polls there. We try to ensure a free, fair, fearless and peaceful election in the district,” he said.
Besides the choppers and more force, the district will need six motor launches for cut off villages at Chitrakonda reservoirs, and besides required number of buses, trucks, mini-buses and light motor vehicles.
The superintendent of police Mr Satyabrata Bhoi informed that all necessary security measures has been taken and area domination and combing operation has been started now itself to keep the ultras away.
As Malkangiri has been always been the soft target of Red rebels, election has become a challenge for administration at Malkangiri. The Red rebels have already threatened to boycott the polls in this region through posters.
Sources said that many posters have been found in Balimela, Chitrakonda region, through which the Naxals have threatened even the political parties not to participate the poll. If anyone dares to disobey the diktat, the consequence would be too furious, the posters read.
This time in both Malkangiri and Chitrakonda Assembly constituency, a total of 1,92,924 and 1,59,689 voters are to cast their vote respectively and almost 80 per cent of them are having photo identity cards.
Of the 224 booths, 47 have been specified as hypersensitive and totally inaccessible, official sources said.

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