Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Nov 12 (UNI) Even as heavy security arrangements are in place ahead of Friday's polling in 12 assembly constituencies of naxalism-affected Bastar division in the first phase of the Chhattisgarh hustings, children of officials on election duty have appealed to naxals not to harm their guardians.
Prabha Mandawi, Sohan Mandawi and Ramesh Kumar were among more than two dozen tenth-standard students in Bastar's Bijapur district headquarters into appealed through various media.
''Aap logon ne chunav ka bahishkaar kia hai lekin yeh ek sanvaidhanik prakriya hai aur sarkari karmchari hone ke karan abhibhavakon ko matdaan karane ki zimmedari saunpi gayi hai (you people have boycotted the elections but they are part of a constitutional process and by virtue of being government employees our guardians have been bestowed the responsibility of conducting voting),'' the appeal went.
Official sources said that Bastar's borders with Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra have been sealed, helicopter surveillance was underway and 200 companies of paramilitary personnel and the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) were stationed.
A battalion each of the Central Reserve Police Force and CAF, besides a bomb disposal squad, were constantly patrolling the Maharashtra and Andhra borders. Helicopters were pressed into service for conveying polling teams to the polling centres. Use of police vehicles was forbidden in view of previous landmine blasts.
UNI XC-AC RP AS1929