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Security for campaign trail

- Cops take guard to protect leaders against terror strikes

Gaya, March 25: Police are making an all-out effort to throw a foolproof security ring around star campaigners of different political parties during the election campaign meetings.

Congress party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi are supposed to address election campaign meetings at Sasaram, Gaya, Nawada, Buxar and Aurangabad for the April 10 polls.

Patna zone inspector-general (IG) Sushil Mansingh Khopde told The Telegraph over telephone from Patna that all possible arrangements are being made at the election campaign meetings of all parties. The local administration would take care of the security. Any requisition for additional security forces or security equipment like doorframe metal detector or hand-held metal detector would be fulfilled at the higher level like zonal or police headquarters.

Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nishant Kumar Tiwary said: “Gaya being Naxalite-hit, area domination exercise is being carried out. Two layered security arrangements have been made at the election campaign meetings of senior politicians.”

“Special vigil is being maintained with the help of electronic surveillance and we also collecting feedback from our sources. We are also holding prior meetings with the organisers of the election campaign meetings and collecting feedback about the arrangements so that suggestions may be made if there is any deficiency. Police personnel are conducting field visits and inspection. Not only central paramilitary forces but Bihar Military Police and other security personnel, including women in plainclothes, are being deployed at the meeting venues,” he added.

An alert has been sounded after the recent arrest of Ziaur Rehman alias Waqas, considered the right-hand man of top Indian Mujahideen functionary Yaseen Bhatkal, who revealed that Narendra Modi is on the IM target. Waqas was arrested from Ajmer station in Rajasthan late on Saturday evening. Following inputs from him, three other associates, including Mohammad Mahroof, Mohammad Waqar Azhar alias Haneef of Jaipur and Saqib Ansari alias Khalid of Jodhpur, were also nabbed. Wakas was the mastermind of serial bomb blasts in Gandhi Maidan during Narendra Modi’s rally on October 27 last year. Waqas, Tahseen, alias Monu, and Haidar had chalked out the plan for serial bomb blasts jointly in Nepal.

Modi is scheduled to address election campaign meetings at Gaya’s Gandhi Maidan and in Sasaram on March 27 and at Nawada and Buxar on April 2. Former state ministers Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Kumar Choubey are contesting on BJP tickets from Nawada and Buxar respectively. The party has fielded sitting MP Hari Manjhi from Gaya.

Rahul would arrive in Aurangabad on April 1 to campaign in favour of Congress candidate and former Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar. Sonia would hold a meeting at Sasaram for party candidate and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on April 3.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar too kicked off his election campaign on Tuesday from Hata in Sasaram parliamentary constituency. He also addressed meetings at Rajpur in Karakat, Amba in Aurangabad and Karmauni in Gaya parliamentary constituencies. RJD chief Lalu Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan have already kicked off the campaign.


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