Lok Sabha elections 2019: Security forces on high alert for Jharkhand’s 3rd round
With 3,908 sensitive and 1,762 very sensitive booths for the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections across the four constituencies of Giridih, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur and Singhbhum today, security forces are on their toes to prevent any untoward incident on polling day.
The largest number of very sensitive booths are in Jamshedpur (662), followed by Singhbhum (496), Giridih (392) and Dhanbad (212). Among the booths categorized as sensitive, the highest are in Dhanbad (1,500) followed by Giridih (1,069), Jamshedpur (699) and Singhbhum (640).
Many of the booths are located in erstwhile Maoist strongholds. Jhumra hills in Bokaro, Saranda in West Singhbhum , Ghatshila in Jamshedpur, Topchanchi and Tundi in Dhanbad along with Parasnath, Dumri and Pirtand have been the hotbed of Maoist activities in the state for years.
Police records reveal that squads led by CPI (Maoist) politburo member Prashant Da and central committee member Misir Besra are active in Saranda area, while cadres led by West Bengal’s state secretary of CPI (Maoist), Asim Mondal alias Akash operate in Jamshedpur and Ghatshila area. Other top Maoists operating in Saraikela-Kharsawan and Chaibasa areas are Maharaj Pramanik, Jeevan Kundluna and Amit Munda.
Ahead of elections, Giridih saw at least four Maoist incidents, including killing of two alleged police informers and an encounter with security forces where three Maoists and a CRPF jawan were killed. At Kuida village in Goelkera forest range of West Singhbhum district, a blast by Maoists damaged two under construction buildings of the forest department. Dhanbad and Bokaro areas have seen a lull in Maoist activities in the last few years.
ML Meena , additional director general (operations) said that extensive security arrangements, in accordance with the directions of the Election Commission, were made in the four constituencies. Adequate security forces were deployed in the sensitive areas and all requisite arrangements were made to ensure peaceful polls. The facility of dropping of forces in helicopters in earmarked clusters was being provided. “In the third phase of elections in the state, the forces have been issued special instructions to remain vigilant,” the ADG said.
Kuldeep Dwiwedi, DIG Kolhan range, said that because of continuous anti-Maoist operations by forces, Maoists were now pushed into the background.
Police said that 225 companies of security forces, which includes 173 companies of central paramilitary forces along with 52 companies of Jharkhand Armed Police and reserve battalions would be deployed for the third phase of elections in the state.
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After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) landslide victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi on a thanksgiving visit on Monday.He marked his visit by offering prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple before heading to address party workers.Modi won the Varanasi parliamentary seat by a margin 4,79,505 votes, defeating his nearest rival Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party.Follow highlights here: