Friday, April 17, 2009

Security to reach Maoist areas a week in advance

KOLKATA, April 17: The Election Commission (EC) will deploy Central forces in Maoist-dominated areas in the state almost a week ahead of the first phase of elections scheduled to be held on 30 April. Other security measures will also be taken to prevent incidents of Maoist attack during the elections.
The decision comes a day after Maoists carried out attacks in different states that went to polls yesterday. The attacks had left at least 19 people dead and several security personnel injured.
Deployment of Central forces will be carried out in six Assembly constituencies that fall within the districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura by 22 April. The six Assembly constituencies where Central forces will be deployed in advance are Jahargram, Binpur, Bandwan, Balarampur,Bagmundi and Joypur.
West Bengal chief electoral officer, Mr Debashis Sen said: “Central forces will arrive in the state on 21 April and by 22 April they will be deployed in various Maoist-infested areas of the state.” He, however, clarified that no decision has been taken regarding Lalgarh where tribals have been resisting the entry of police.
“Other than Lalgarh, deployment of Central forces will also be carried out in 14 other police station areas that fall under these Assembly constituencies," the CEO said. A decision regarding Lalgarh will be taken after the Police Santras Birodhi Public Committee (PSBPC) leader, Mr Chatradhar Mahato takes a call on the Election Commission's offer to deploy Central forces in the affected areas of Lalgarh, EC officials said. Meanwhile, the CEO added that various confidence-building measures such as flag marches and setting up of quick response time units will also be initiated. “Sealing of state border will take place at least two days ahead of the poll,” Mr Sen said. n SNS

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