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Chhattisgarh polls: Police on alert in Sarguja, Raipur divisions

Security forces have been directed to stay alert in some districts of Sarguja and Raipur divisions ahead of second phase of Chhattisgarh polling Tuesday.

Raipur: Even as first phase of polling in the worst Naxal affected Bastar region of Chhattisgarh concluded by and large peacefully, security forces have been directed to stay alert in some districts of Sarguja and Raipur divisions ahead of the second phase of polling tomorrow.

Sarguja and Raipur divisions are located on the inter-state border where frequent movement of Naxals has been witnessed.

Although rebels have not appealed for poll boycott in these regions, yet recovery of a huge haul of explosives from Gariyaband district bordering Odisha after an encounter with Naxals by security personnel two days back has alarmed the security personnel deployed in these region.

"Naxals may be enraged over the success of first phase of polling in Bastar and Rajnandgaon which saw over 75 per cent turnout for voting. They may have some evil design in other parts going to polls in second phase, where they have little hold," a senior police official said.

Few vulnerable areas of Mahasamund, Gariyaband and Dhamtari of Raipur division bordering Odisha and Jashpur, Raigarh and Ambikapur in north Chhattisgarh have been marked where rebels may create trouble during polling process, following which security forces have been told to be extra cautious in these regions, he said.

An assistant commandant of CRPF was killed in a Maoist ambush in Khallari village of Dhamtari on Chhattisgarh-Odisha border in June this year. In October 2010, in Mahasamund seven Naxalites were killed in an encounter with security forces and a large quantities of arms and ammunitions, Naxal documents and other material were recovered. In 2011, a Naxal camp was destroyed in Suwarguda forest in which ammunitions, Naxal documents etc were recovered in Sarngarh region of Raigarh.

However, police have successfully checked Naxalite expansion in Sarguja division linked with Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh but still Maoists find it an easy way to move from Bastar region, passing through Chhattisgarh-Odisha borderline to reach Jharkhand and Bihar.

Over a lakh security personnel have been deployed for second and last phase of polling in 72 constituencies of the state tomorrow, the police official added.