20 companies of security forces for 13,000 booths in Palamu
Daltonganj: The district administration had sought 30 companies of security forces for the smooth conduct of polls in Palamu. But their pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears. K N Jha, returning officer of Palamu Lok Sabha seat, confirmed, “Homeguard jawans will be deployed at polling booths in Palamu.” According to sources, Maoist-hit Palamu is set to get 20 companies of security forces, like it did in 2009. There are more than 1,300 booths in this district alone. Giving it an adequate security cover would entail having two officials and eight jawans in every booth. Palamu SP Y S Ramesh, however, declined to comment on the matter.
A source close to Maoists said, “Our cadres are keeping a close watch on the pattern of deployment of security forces in Palamu.” In such a scenario, candidates must be ready to bear the loss of their poll campaign vehicle if they refuse to give in to the diktat of Maoists, the source added. He, however, declined to elaborate on what would the rebels possibly demand. A Jharkhand Mukti Morcha jeep was set on fire at Barwaiyya in Manika police station on February 15. The vehicle was being used to publicize the arrival of chief minister Hemant Soren there.
Naxal activities, a concern for police during Lok Sabha by polls
Jamshedpur : With the announcement of the dates for the Parliamentary elections, the district administration has gone busy working out the security arrangements for the Maoist infested areas of the constituency.The civil and police administration are jointly framing in the blue print for the safe and secure elections this time around. A sudden rise has also ringed the alarm bells for the district administration.
Notably, the naxals have apparently been almost eliminated from Dumaria block in Ghatshila sub-division when the police killed eight hardcore rebels at Bhitaramda, giving a severe blow to the naxals. Similarly, at Patamda and Bodam, which was also a hot-bed of naxals, the naxalism was almost vanished after the local residents stood against them following atrocities on the villagers. Sources informed that a sudden rise in the Maoists activities have let the forces intensify the patrolling. The police have beefed up security in the naxal-infested areas of Ghatshila sub division consisting of areas like Dumaria, Musaboni, Chakulia, Bahragora and Ghatshila.
Four Naxals Arrested in Chhattisgarh
Four Naxalites, suspected to be involved in attacks on security forces in run up to Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh late last year, were arrested today. Acting on a tip-off, a police team nabbed the rebels from Edkamar village in Narayanpur district, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP), O P Sharma told PTI by phone. During interrogation, the four – aged between 25 and 30 years – admitted their involvement in the armed movement, he said.
They were identified as Devsingh Wadde, Amru Potai, Dasu Kachlam and Santer Salaam, all active in the restive Jhara and Dhaudai regions, the ASP said. The extremists were involved in several Naxal-related incidents, including the attacks on security forces during the November Assembly election, he said.
EC to Rely on Sat Phones to Foil Maoists in West Bengal
In the wake of the recent deadly ambush by the Maoist ultras in Chhattisgarh, the Election Commission (EC) is planning to use state-of-the art satellite phones as well as mobile telephony in West Bengal’s Left-wing extremism-hit (LWE) districts to stay in touch with the poll officials as well as security forces. And the move by the poll panel was also prompted by the intelligence tip-off on likely bid by the extremists to disrupt the polling process.
However, the main hurdle faced by the EC in implementing the plan was the region’s poor mobile connectivity. Hence, a meeting of the mobile service providers was convened and they were asked to do the needful to provide seamless coverage in the shadow zones. “We held meetings with all the mobile service providers and asked them to ensure smooth communication and mobile telephone coverage in all parts of the state. They will identify the shadow zones and we have asked them to take adequate steps,” said Amitjyoti Bhattacharji, Assistant Chief Electoral Officer.
“We have also asked senior district officials to assess the situation both in terms of law and order and also mobile connectivity. Information from polling stations is communicated through text messages and as such mobile connectivity is very important,” he added. Besides, the EC is planning to obtain permission from the Department of Telecom (DoT) for providing the satellite telephones to its staff as well as the senior security officials during polling.