he DGP GL Sharma has directed the Chitrakoot and Banda police to register cases against candidates who were getting support from the dacoit gangs in the assembly election. Under pressure of the Election Commission the police have mounted pressure on the gangs, which has now resulted into scuttling "dacoit-supported" campaigning. The DGP said case would be registered under section 400 IPC and other provisions of anti-dacoity law.
Sharma told HT on Wednesday that candidates who were seeking votes through the "firmans" (diktats) of dacoits Shiv Kumar Patel alias Dadua and Ambika Patel alias Thokia were equally responsible for hampering process of free and fair elections. While Dadua has extended support to all Samajwadi Party candidates, Thokia is working for his mother and Rashtriya Lok Dal nominee Piyaria Devi from Naraini. Dadua's brother Bal Kumar Patel is SP nominee from Patti (Pratapgarh).
While nabbing Thokia supporters who had been campaigning for "ammaji" (Piyari Devi), the Banda police have also seized their vehicles. The police action has virtually brought the RLD's campaigning to a standstill. Independent candidate Sampat Pal of Gulabi Sena who is contesting against Thokia's mother told HT on phone that the police action during the last one week had improved the situation. "Dacoits have stopped visiting villages to campaign for the RLD candidate", she said.
Sharma said large numbers of supporters of these gangs have already been arrested. The DGP, who reviewed security preparation in the two districts, said the officers had assured him of providing fear-free atmosphere for poll on April 28. He said even after polling the "operation Dadua-Thokia" would continue and level of security arrangements in affected areas would not be lowered. He said post-election security arrangements were required to avert backlash by these gangs. While five companies of PAC along with highly equipped STF team led by Amitabh Yash has been trying to track down the dreaded gangs, Sharma said there would be further reinforcement after completion of election on May 8. "We will have enough force to eliminate these gangs", Sharma commented. He added local police officers would be responsible for free and fair polling in the districts. He said additional force would be deployed in dacoit-affected villages.