Naxals poll boycott threat looms large over Chhattisgarh
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Naxals poll boycott threat looms large over Chhattisgarh

Tension is brewing among all the political parties in Chhattisgarh's Naxal-infested region in the wake of PW sponsored poll boycott.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2003 13:02 IST

The ongoing unprecedented Naxalite violence in Bastar and Sarguja regions has given a clear indication that the Peoples' War of CPI (ML) would not let the elections pass off smoothly in Chhattisgarh.

Tension is brewing among all the political parties in the region in the wake of PW sponsored poll boycott.

Terror prevailed in the region when the extremists' group kidnapped four Congress workers near Narayanpur on Friday. The outlawed had already gunned down six cops and injured several in different encounters this month to terrorise people of the state.

PW posters on poll boycott were found plastered on walls of houses and several other areas in the tribal region. Not only this, they are holding regular meetings in the state's border areas to ensure people support their boycott call.

If anyone dares to flout the boycott call, they will have to face the consequences, threatened the Maoist organisation. Landmine explosions and attack on polling teams are now routine affairs in Bastar and Sarguja regions.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Bastar region, Sant Kumar Paswan, pointed out that there was a discernible pattern in the recent rise in Naxalite violence, which, he felt, was aimed at making their presence felt. Terror had been struck into the hearts of the residents of Narayanpur, Antagarh, Dantewada, Geedam, Bijapur, Bhopalpattanam, Konta, Bande and Chhotagongar areas in the region. The series of recent violent incidents indicate that the Naxalites are determined to demonstrate their presence to oppose polling in some pockets.

Their determination could be gauged from the fact when a group of Naxalites beat up mercilessly the brother of sitting MLA of Narayanpur, Manturam Pawar, a Congress nominee near Pakharjore on November 25. They even set afire a jeep, which was being used to election campaign for the Congress candidate. They have not even spared the CPM. The PW members set afire the office of CPM at Narayanpur last week in support of its election boycott call.

The state administration has already deployed over 110 paramilitary companies in the troubled' areas to ensure a free and fair elections.

Chief Election Officer of Chhattisgarh KK Chakraborty said the state administration is using sniper dogs, bomb disposal squads, satellite telephones and geographically positioning satellite system to nullify the Naxalite menace.

"We have taken a serious note of the Naxalite call for a poll boycott in Bastar, Kanker, Dantewada, Sarguja, Rajnandgaon and other regions. There are as many as 24 Naxalite-porn constituencies in the state. Adequate security arrangements have already been made and polling teams have been directed to ensure a strict vigil," Chakraborty added.

He continued, "We have convened joint meetings of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Orissa officials for a joint patrolling during the period and decided to seal all border districts for a week till the results are not announced."

First Published: Nov 29, 2003 13:02 IST