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Helicopter to be used in Maoist areas during elections

Written by: Staff
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Midnapore, Mar 24 (UNI) West Midnapur District authorities will use helicopters for ferrying police personnel and polling materials in Maoist-dominated areas of Belpahari, Lalgarh, Salboni and Goaltore areas.

District Magistrate Dusmant Nariala said the helicopters may also be used for rescue operations.

''We have already prepared some helipads in these areas and some more are expected shortly. We will provide the full ground assistance for these flights, while the sorties will be operated by Indian Air Force base in Kalaikunda,'' the DM added.

He was addressing a press conference this evening after issuing notifications for holding the first phase of election in the state.

The arrangement has been made in view of vote boycott call given by the Maoists and killings of Left party supporters and police personnel in these areas recently.

Maoist-dominated West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia go to polls on the first day of elections in the state on April 17.

Meanwhile, 40 per cent of total booths having Maoist concentration in Jhargram and Sadar subdivision have been identified as highly sensitive areas, Superintendent of Police Ajay Nand said.

The total number of preventive arrests on the eve of the election was 469 till now, he said.

Altogether 14 arms and 120 rounds of bullets have been seized so far, the SP added.

At least 200 companies of para military forces would be deployed during the election, the SP said.

UNI XC TJP RD LR KN2150

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