Maoist threats loom large ahead of Bihar Assembly polls

Gaya (Bihar), Oct 16 (ANI): As polls to the Bihar Assembly draw nearer, Maoist threats in Gaya region have upset the campaigning by the contesting candidates.

In and around Gaya alone, about ten constituencies are under the threat of Maoists.

Balik Ram, a candidate of Congress party said that people would vote only if they were assured of police security.

"Yes, some of the areas here are Maoist affected. Fatehpur's southern part, which is adjacent to a forest, and Karyatpur area are Maoist affected. But still people are engaged in canvassing through mass contact; even I am interacting with the people. The people do live in fear and they say that if there is police security they would vote," Balik Ram added.

The top brass of the police in the district did confirm that with the contestants facing probable threats from the rebels, paramilitary forces have been deployed in the region to combat the Maoists.

"At night there are problems in travelling for the police as well. There can be land mines laid by the rebels. The police can also be injured in the firing," said Amit Lodha, Senior Superintendent of Police, Gaya.

The Maoists have threatened the villagers living near forests not to take part in the elections. In the past, the Maoists had targeted several candidates during elections.

The six-phase poll for 243 seats begins from October 21 and concludes on November 20

The first phase of elections will take place on October 21 for 47 State Assembly seats, the second phase on October 24, the third phase on October 28 for 48 seats, the fourth on November1 for 42 seats, the fifth phase on November 9 for 25 seats and the sixth and last phase on November 20 for 26 seats.

Counting of votes will take place on November 24. (ANI)

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