The killing of 18 policemen by naxals in Gadchiroli region in Maharashtra , five days ahead of state assembly elections, has raised a question mark over security arrangements during polling in the naxal-hit region.
Poll campaign in Armori, Gadchiroli and Aheri, the three assembly constituencies in the tribal district, has been hampered due to Maoists' call for election boycott and threat to disrupt the exercise, an official said.
Naxals, who have on the offensive after the arrest of top Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy, beheaded a Jharkhand police officer Francis Induwar just two days ago.
It is the modus operandi of naxals, operating from hideouts deep in the jungles, to carry out surprise raids on police parties, the official said.
"They strike at will and as they decide the time and venue of the attack have the obvious advantage of the surprise element," he said.
The district administration has tried to create public awareness against the Maoists' diktat for poll boycott.
Naxals have pasted posters on walls and distributed pamphlets asking for boycott of "bogus" elections and create a "peoples' government". MORE