Red threat looms large | india | Hindustan Times
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Red threat looms large

india Updated: Sep 08, 2010 01:28 IST
HT Correspondent

The Maoists have the potential to adversely affect the Bihar polls. Bihar Director General of Police Neelmani admits that of the 38 districts in the state spanning 243 constituencies, 20 districts - containing around half of the 58,000 booths - will lie in sensitive, Maoist-dominated zones.

Again, of the 38 districts, 33 are Maoist-affected, making it a bigger challenge for the Election Commission to hold a violence-free election.

During the October 2005 assembly polls, the Maoists had demonstrated their strike and reach capabilities when they stormed Jahanabad town, just 60 km south of Patna.

The entire police force in the town ran for cover and the rebels managed to free more than 300 Maoist prisoners.

That remains the most spectacular Maoist assault on state power to date.

During election time in the past, the Maoists have enforced blockades in several areas, ordered poll boycotts, threatened voters and killed people.

However, with the state in for a six-phase poll, with a maximum of 48 seats contested in every phase, the deployment of paramilitary forces would be at its highest. Also, since Bihar is the only state going to polls at the time, security can be more focused.

Some of the areas where the security concerns will be high include the Kaimur-Rohtas, West Champaran, Vaishali-Saran, Sheohar-Sitamarhi and Aurangabad-Nawada stretches as also the Jamui-Banka-Munger axis, which have seen Maoist activity in recent months.

The state just witnessed a hostage crisis, with Maoists abducting four policemen from Lakhisarai district. While three policemen were released on Monday, the rebels killed one hostage last week.