EC to send poll parties on helicopter in Bastar

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Bastar/ Raipur, Nov 12 (UNI) Election Commission apprehending large scale violence by the naxalites after their poll boycott call in the Bastar division has deployed eight helicopters to ferry the poll personnel to 247 polling stations for November 14 polling.

The state government had already put a blanket ban on the use of vehicles in the remote jungle areas by the poll personnel due to threat of landmines on the roads.

The helicopters would take the poll parties from tomorrow to their polling stations and would bring them back in the afternoon on the election day.

EC has also reduced the timing of voting in the naxal belt which now will start at 0700 hrs to 1500 hrs.

State police headquarters sources here today said that about 350 companies of central forces have been deployed in the five districts of Bastar division along with state police.

With the call of poll boycott by the naxalite outfits in Bastar and other areas of the state, the state government had made elaborate security arrangements for the polling personnel and for the voters.

However, the situation in Dantewada and other remote areas of the Bastar division remained tense and curfew like situation prevailed with people remained inside their houses in fear of some trouble from the naxals.

A senior police official said that adequate security personnel have been deployed in the naxal belt and all precautionary measures have been taken to prevent any untoward incident.

Yesterday, a high level meeting was held in Raipur over the security arrangments in the Bastar region. DG BSF and DG CRPF flew directly from New Delhi to discussion the situation with state police officials.

Out of the total 2218 polling booths in the Bastar division, over 50 per cent of them have been identified as sensitive or hyper sensitive.

Superintendent of police( Dantewada) Rahul Sharma said that police patrolling has been intensified and voters would be given all protection during the polling.

Chhattisgarh government on the direction of the EC had already insured all the polling personnel and security men of Rs 5 lakhs for death and Rs 3 lakhs for injury during the polling process.

UNI MB RP SSC1550

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