Ranchi, Nov 24(ANI): Security has been beefed up in Jharkhand on Tuesday ahead of the first phase of elections to the provincial legislature to prevent Maoist attempts at disruption.
Around 470 candidates are contesting in the first phase of the polls for the 26 assembly seats of the State.
Officials are being sent to respective polling booths to ensure peaceful conduct of elections. Huge number of police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed at various polling booths.
"We can't tell you how many companies are there or where the forces have been deployed, but we will definitely tell you that we have all the necessary amount of forces required. Police have been deployed at all the emergency locations," said B D Ram, Director General of Jharkhand Police.
Over 300 companies of police and allied security personnel have been placed at the disposal of the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections.
Despite these measures, fear of Maoists prevails among many locals including the persons assigned to man the polling booths.
"The environment is a bit scary and we are really scared. We will see once we reach the booths. Everyone is scared at home seeing the Maoist terror prevailing around here," said Dilip Kumar, a designated polling officer.
Maoists have called for boycott of the polls in the areas dominated by them.
Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI (Maoist) leader Mallojulla Koteswar Rao had recently stated that the Congress party and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) would be 'targeted' during the elections.
Similarly, Samar Jee also known as Anmol, through a press release, warned that those who take part in the elections would be 'punished' by the Maoists.
In the General Elections to the Lok Sabha held earlier this year, Maoists had issued a similar call, but the Election Commission was able to ensure peaceful elections.
Over 57 percent of the electorate in Jharkhand voted in the Lok Sabha polls.
The assembly elections for the 81 seats will take place in five phases between November 25 and December 18. (ANI)