Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Khammam police gearing up to meet Maoist threat

B Satyanarayana ReddyFirst Published : 01 Apr 2009 03:50:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 01 Apr 2009 12:56:48 PM IST

KHAMMAM: The district police, in collaboration with State’s top police officials, are preparing an action plan to put a check on Maoist activities in the border areas during the general election. The Bhadrachalam division has been given a special security status as it has been identified as a very sensitive constituency as most of the forest area in the district is situated in the district. Maoists have traditionally been strong in the Bhadrachalam division.

The Maoists, informed sources in the police say, have established permanent camps in the Dantewada and Bijapur districts of Chhattishgarh and planned to mar the elections, particularly in Khammam district and in Chhattisgarh.

With the Maoists calling for boycott of elelctions, the intelligence department has already washed its hands of with a warning to the police department that Maoists would resort to violence during the elections. The Maoists have even distributed pamphlets to people asking them not to vote and warned them of dire consequences if they did not heed their warning.

In this background, police officials held a meeting here recently to discuss the issue. Top police officials from Chhattisgarh and Orissa also particiapated in the meeting.

The police are keeping special focus on 237 polling stations in the border area and preparing a plan to ensure peaceful conduct of elections. Already, 121 extremist-affected villages have been identified in the border area, superintendent of police Mahesh Bhagat has told to The New Indian Express.

Bhagat says that two companies of the Border Security Force have been deployed in the border area and deep forests to thwart any attacks from Maoists. Besides, a few battalions of CRPF, APSP, Grey Hounds and Special Police have been deployed. And some more BSF companies are likely to be deployed in the border area. Combing operations began last month. Vehiclechecking has been going on extensively to keep Naxal material logistics in check.

Every possible step is being taken to put a check on Maoist activities. The borders with Orissa and Chhattisgarh have been sealed to prevent movement of anti-social elements and transport of liquor. The SP appeals to people to exercise franchise without fear or favour, assuring them of security to their lives.

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