600 companies of paramilitary and state auxiliary forces to be deployed in Jharkhand for Lok Sabha elections
As per the police, 13 districts — Khunti, Gumla, Latehar, Simdega, Bokaro, West Singhbhum, Ranchi, Dumka, Giridih, Palamu, Garhwa, Chatra, and Lohardaga — are categorised as “most sensitive” during the elections.Updated: Mar 12, 2019 15:20 IST
About 600 companies of paramilitary and state auxiliary forces would be deployed across polling booths in Jharkhand during the upcoming elections, said police officials.
Additional director general (operations) Ashish Batra said that 30% of the forces would be deployed in “very sensitive” booths, while 25% would be positioned across “sensitive” polling pockets. The rest of the additional forces would be deployed in the remaining areas, he said. The forces include the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP), and a special task force named Jharkhand Jaguar. Voting would be conducted in the Maoist-affected areas from 7am to 3pm, he added.
As per the police, 13 districts — Khunti, Gumla, Latehar, Simdega, Bokaro, West Singhbhum, Ranchi, Dumka, Giridih, Palamu, Garhwa, Chatra, and Lohardaga — are categorised as “most sensitive” during the elections. The “sensitive” districts are Seraikela-Kharsawan, East Singhbhum, Hazaribag, Dhanbad, and Godda. The districts of Ramgarh, Pakur, Jamtara, and Koderma are categorised as “less sensitive” areas. Deoghar and Sahebganj districts have not witnessed Maoist activities recently.
Meanwhile, special training programmes were being conducted for the security forces to prepare for the impending elections, said additional director general (operations) ML Meena. He said that while details of the training programme could not be revealed, it included the establishment of better communication facilities, besides improved co-ordination with forces of neighbouring states. “Anti-Maoist operations would continue, and forces are on high alert. Every security directive, as issued by the chief electoral officer, will be followed,” said Meena.
Police officials said that a communication grid to facilitate better communication with the neighbouring states was being established, while forces in each district were given special training modules to detect improvised explosive devices and landmines. District police forces were also asked to rope in residents to help identify Maoists and other criminal elements.
The tribal heartland of the state, the Santhal Pargana region, saw eight people killed in an explosion in Dumka, triggered by Maoists in the 2014 elections. An IED explosion in April 2014 killed three polling officials and five policemen at Shikaripada in Dumka district. During elections in Bokaro district, Maoists had attacked security personnel at two places, injuring four CRPF personnel. A railway track and school building were also blown up by explosions. The districts of Dumka, Latehar, Palamu, East Singhbhum, and Giridih saw incidents of Maoist violence during 2009 elections.