Days before the Lok Sabha elections began, Maoists had warned polling parties to desist from travelling with security forces. Defying that diktat has so far claimed the lives of 10 polling personnel in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Seven of them were killed on April 12, in an attack on a police convoy in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. On Thursday, a landmine blast, targeted at a bus carrying policemen and polling personnel in Jharkhand’s Dumka district, claimed the lives of three poll officials.
The open letter from the Bihar-Jharkand-North Chhattisgarh Special Area Committee had explicitly stated, “Do not blame us if you get killed while moving with policemen.”
The letter had also appealed policemen to quit serving a government that was “anti-poor, favoured capitalists and suppressed voices that spoke against the large-scale exploitation of marginalised sections”.
Showing sympathy for the families of the policemen killed, the letter said, “There is no questioning on the sufferings of your families, but please also understand that similar pain is inflicted on the other side.”