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Senior cops on duty

Jamshedpur, Dec. 17: Several senior police officers have been assigned election duty in Naxalite-affected areas of Kolhan, which go to polls in the fifth phase tomorrow.

Polling will take place in four Assembly constituencies of West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan districts. The constituencies are Seraikela, Kharsawan, Chaibasa and Jagannathpur.

Faced with the possibility of rebel-sponsored violence in Chaibasa and Jagannathpur, the administration has deputed inspector general of police (provision), S.N. Pradhan, to supervise security in the two constituencies.

Pradhan will also keep tabs on possible booth capturing and bogus voting and ensure smooth movement of forces through the Saranda forest, which falls in Chaibasa constituency. The IG will also carry out an aerial survey of the area. “The deputation has been made keeping in mind the Naxalite-sponsored violence during the Lok Sabha elections here. With a senior police official present in the district, any emergency can be tackled more effectively,” said a senior official.

Another senior police official on special election duty is East Singhbhum superintendent of police Naveen Kumar Singh, who will look after the poll process in Seraikela and Kharsawan.

Though Seraikela is not Naxalite sensitive, Kuchai, a remote block, has a strong Maoist presence. Kuchai is used as a corridor by the rebels to travel from Bengal’s West Midnapore and Purulia to Saranda and Sundergarh in Orissa.

Intelligence sources hinted that the final phase of polling could witness large-scale Maoist violence.

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