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Security fortress for fair polls in Red fort

Patna, March 20: Armed with 200 anti-landmine and bullet-proof vehicles, police are determined to thwart the nefarious designs of Maoists to disrupt the Lok Sabha polls scheduled from April 10.

The state police headquarters has decided to allot 200 anti-landmine and bullet-proof vehicles to the districts considered to be influential pockets of the CPI(Maoist). Two choppers would be in standby to support the security forces in the anti-Maoist operations.

Naxalites have appealed to people in the areas of their influence, especially in south, central and eastern Bihar, to boycott the polls. Twenty-one districts of the state have been identified as the worst Maoist-hit. Twelve have been declared partially-affected.

A senior officer associated with the poll-related assignments said at least 10 bullet-proof and 10 anti-landmine vehicles would be provided to each of the worst Naxalite-hit districts. “We have enough bullet-proof and anti-landmine vehicles for the purpose,” he told The Telegraph.

The security personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Border Security Force and the Central Industrial Security Force would be engaged in area domination exercises before polling. “The SPs (superintendents of police) have been told to ensure optimal use of the central paramilitary forces in special operations,” the officer said.

Inspector-general (operations) Amit Kumar said the state police headquarters had sent its requisition for two choppers to the Union home ministry for keeping an eye on the activities of Maoists. “They would be in standby for emergency situations,” he said.

He also made it clear that the bullet-proof vehicles would not be provided to the candidates contesting the elections. “Those who come under the special category of the VIPs would be provided bullet-proof cars,” he added.

A source said several candidates have approached the private manufacturing firms outside the state to purchase bullet-proof cars.

Additional director-general (law and order) S.K. Bhardwaj said the candidates would be provided security depending on their threat perception. “There is a clear guideline for providing security to the candidates contesting from the seats in the Maoist-hit districts,” he added.

Six seats in Rohtas, Gaya, Aurangabad, Jamui and Nawada districts would go to polls in the first phase on April 10. Chief secretary Ashok Kumar Sinha today instructed the district magistrates concerned to ensure foolproof security during the polls while reviewing the election preparations through video-conferencing.


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