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Tech eye on rebels during elections

Patna, March 24: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would keep an eye on Maoists — who have called for a poll boycott — in districts where they have a presence, during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The decision was taken at a meeting with nodal officers of different central police organisations and the state police at the chief electoral officer’s office today. Nodal officers of the Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Border Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal and the Central Industrial Security Force attended the meeting.

The meeting, presided over by chief electoral officer Ajay V. Naik, resolved that armed security forces would man all polling booths. UAVs would keep an eye on movement of Maoists in the run-up to polling. This would minimise casualties of security forces in Maoist-related incidents. The UAVs, equipped with global positioning system, would flash real-time images of Maoist movement and conversations on the ground. The data would be sent to the commandos, prompting them to launch operations.

Authorities said Bihar had received 166 companies of central paramilitary forces. Principal secretary, home, Amir Subhani said: “The Centre has provided us enough forces for the six-phase general elections in the state.”

Meanwhile, 119 persons have been identified as troublemakers in six Lok Sabha seats that go to polls in the first phase on April 10. Aurangabad district authorities banned entry of three notorious gangsters in the district.

Additional director-general (headquarters) Ravinder Kumar said action had been initiated against a number of criminals under the Crime Control Act. They would not be released from jail for a period of one year.


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