Raipur, Nov 11 (news agency) Nearly one lakh security personnel have been deployed in the Naxal-affected districts going to polls in the first phase in Chhattisgarh on Monday, amid the threat from Maoists who have called for a boycott of the elections.
On the eve of the polls, a sub-inspector of the Border Security Force (BSF) lost his life when Naxals detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kanker district while a Maoist was gunned down in an encounter in Bijapur district.
Voting will be held on Monday in 18 seats spread over eight Naxal-affected districts in the state.
Naxal outfits have given calls for boycott of the election and executed over half-a-dozen attacks in the last 15 days, three of them major ones which left 13 people dead including a cameraman of national broadcaster Doordarshan who was covering the election campaign.
According to police, escorting polling parties to their destinations and bringing them back after the polls pose challenges to them in the Naxal hotbed.
“Around one lakh security personnel, including central paramilitary force, have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling in the first phase,” Chhattisgarh’s Special Director General (anti-Naxal operations) D M Awasthi told PTI.
All counter measures have been taken to thwart attempts by Maoists to disrupt the poll process, he said.
A total of 650 companies (roughly around 65,000 security personnel), including of paramilitary forces like the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and other state forces, have been sent by the Centre for poll duty, he said.
These units are apart from the paramilitary personnel and 200 companies of state forces already engaged in the anti- Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh, Awasthi said.