Anti-naxal forces not to be diverted for polls: Odisha DGP
Bhubaneswar: Ruling out diversion of central para-military force (CPMF) from ongoing anti-naxal operations in the state, Odisha Police today said it required an additional 50 companies of central forces for the ensuing twin elections in the state.
"There is no question of diverting the jawans, both CPMF and state`s special operation group (SOG), deployed in the anti-naxal operation. They will be engaged in providing security in polling booths in their respective areas," Director General of Police (DGP) Prakash Mishra told reporters after reviewing situation in southern range.
Mishra said the state has asked the Centre to provide additional 50 companies (1 company comprises 100 personnel) of CPMF for the purpose of the Lok Sabha and assembly polls. "These additional forces would be deplyed for the first phase of elections scheduled on April 10," the DGP said.
The same force would be redeployed for the second phase of polls on April 17 while keeping the personnel engaged in the anti-naxal operation intact, the DGP said.
To a question, Mishra said while some pockets of Kandhamal district remained critical from Left Wing Extremism (LWE) point of view, similar condition prevailed in pockets of Malkangiri and Nuapada districts. "However, steps are being taken to ensure peaceful voting," he said.
He, however, said that extra attention need to be given on the cut-off areas of Malkangiri, the hot bed of Red rebels. "The police was vigilant in all the LWE-hit districts," he said.
The DGP ruled out air-surveillance in Maoist-hit areas prior to elections. "Instead of use of choppers, we will strengthen the intelligence in these areas," he said.
In its bid to avoid communication problem in hilly and remote areas, the Police chief said that the state government has already been granted permission to use 200 more satellite phones in inaccessible areas.
Odisha DGP also said that proper coordination has been established with the police of neighbouring Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand for conduct of peaceful elections in the state.
He said police was also engaged in expenditure monitoring operation to check use of liquor during the elections.
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