Jharkhand Assembly Elections 2019: Security handed over to ex-Manipur DGP after Maoists kill 4 cops
A day after four Jharkhand policemen were killed in a suspected Maoist ambush, the Election Commission of India appointed M K Das, former DGP of Manipur, as the special police observer for the state assembly elections, beginning on November 30.
“The Election Commission took the decision in light of the specific challenges of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affecting the law and order situation in Jharkhand. He (Das) would oversee the deployment (of security forces) and other security related issues in the state,” said an ECI release.
Mrinal Kanti Das retired as Manipur’s Director General of Police(DGP) and was the special observer for Tripura and Mizoram during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The assembly polls in Jharkhand are being held in five phases, beginning November 30. Thirteen seats are going to polls in the first phase, including nine in the Maoist-hit Palamu division, which also includes Latehar district, where the Maoists ambushed policemen on Friday.
An assistant sub-inspector and three other policemen were killed in an attack on a PCR van at National Highway-22 at Chandwa, barely two kilometres from a police station, in the Latehar district.
BJP’s working president JP Nadda had addressed a rally in the same town, about six hours before the attack and home minister Amit Shah attended a rally in the neighbouring Manika assembly seat on Thursday.
The incident follows opposition’s allegation that the decision to hold polls in five phases citing the Maoist threat was taken to help the BJP, which had deeper pockets and better resources to sustain a long election campaign.
Chief election commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Thursday clarified that the election schedule was drafted based on a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) report and state police feedback on the left wing extremism (LWE).