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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

Plan to give satellite phones to securitymen in Maoist-hit areas

Debashish Sarkar, Hindustan Times  Jamshedpur, March 15, 2014
First Published: 17:01 IST(15/3/2014) | Last Updated: 17:06 IST(15/3/2014)

To ensure free and fair parliamentary polls in Maoist-hit areas, the government plans to provide satellite phones to security personnel in remote areas and also to form anti-sabotage units.

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Sources told Hindustan Times that the election commission was contemplating to arm the security personnel with satellite phones in remote places falling in the Maoist-hit areas of nine states.

"The commission has sought reports on such booths with no or poor telecom connectivity and the estimated cost of satellite phones," sources said.

East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police Amol Venukant Homkar said, "There are 16 booths with no connectivity at all in Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituency where wireless or satellite phones will be of great help. There's also proposal to relocate nine booths in Maoist-hit areas. We've started the training for anti-sabotage unit. We already have half a dozen personnel trained in bomb detection and we're training about a dozen more."

Kolhan deputy inspector general Md Nihal said that detailed communication plans were being sent to the commission through the deputy commissioners.

"DCs are approaching telecom companies like BSNL, Reliance, Bharati Airtel and Tata Indicom for strengthening their networks and assist in areas where their networks are strong,” said the DIG.

The six-member anti-sabotage units would cover the visiting VVIPs and celebrity campaigners and sanitise the routes, venues and act in case of eventuality.

Special Branch SP has written to all the SSPs, SPs and rail SPs couple of days back that "in view of Lok Sabha Poll-2014, form anti-sabotage units to provide foolproof security to VVIPs and celebrity campaigners".

Government railway police has already formed an eight-member anti-sabotage unit for Tatanagar railway station.

East Singhbhum has also formed 28 flying squads, as many static surveillance squads and a dozen video-surveillance squads.

Seraikela-Kharswan district has formed 18 flying squads.

"We've formed three flying and three static surveillance squads for each of the six assembly segments in Singhbhum constituency," Chaibasa SP Narendra Kumar Singh said.


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