Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jharkhand snubbed Maoists: PC

HT Correspondent
Email Author
New Delhi, December 21, 2009
First Published: 23:54 IST(21/12/2009)
Last Updated: 23:55 IST(21/12/2009)

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday counted the high voter turnout in the Jharkhand assembly polls as a “stinging rejection” of the Maoists, who tried to terrorise the people into boycotting the elections.

The home ministry had deployed nearly 25,000 central security personnel during the five-phase assembly polls and put off a coordinated offensive against the Naxals till the elections were over.

The five-phase voting saw a 58 per cent turnout, one percentage higher than polling in the last assembly polls in 2005.

“In my view, this is a stinging rejection of the CPI (Maoist) and other militants who attempted to terrorise the people of Jharkhand into boycotting the elections,” Chidambaram said on Monday. “The ultimate victor is democracy.”

But a dozen policemen — half of them from the central forces —paid with their lives. As he complimented voters for turning up at the polling booths, Chidambaram remembered the security personnel as well.

Chidambaram has instructed the authorities concerned to ensure that the compensation due to the deceased policemen was paid expeditiously and a compliance report submitted by January 15, 2010.

The minister said security forces would continue to be stationed in Jharkhand in the immediate future to maintain law and order.

Counting of votes will take place on Wednesday.

Home ministry officials said the full-fledged anti-Naxal operation would begin soon. The Centre had started deployment of security forces for Chhattisgarh from September, posting them after they completed a course on counter-insurgency operations in jungles

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