Police seeks relocation of several booths due to Red threat
Apprehending Maoist attack on polling booths as well as security personnel during the Lok Sabha elections, several superintendents of police (SPs) across the state have sent requisition to the headquarters, demanding relocation.
Senior officers are a concerned lot as more than 200 polling booths across Jharkhand fall in Maoist-hit areas which are highly inaccessible.
Many police officials feel that forces deployed in these sensitive areas to guard polling booths may easily fall into traps or get ambushed.
Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had shot off a letter to the state police headquarters informing that Maoists were planning attacks in Jharkhand during the polls.
According to the letter, ultras are likely to ambush security forces, booths, police stations and polling parties in the state.
The MHA had also warned the road opening parties (ROPs) to remain fully alert to avoid any untoward incident.
The 200 polling booths which have been identified for relocation in various districts of the state are situated in difficult terrains.
Among these there are booths which have been targeted by CPI(Maoist) cadres in the previous elections.
Half a dozen polling booths in Ghatsila and Baheragora constituencies in East Singhbhum district and over a dozen booths in Latehar district are located in sensitive areas.
Mukesh Kumar, the deputy commissioner of Latehar, said, "We will write to the EC, requesting the relocation of polling booths in the district."
A senior police officer of the district said there are over 12 polling booths which are located in Maoist-hit areas and are almost inaccessible.
"Movement of forces will be hindered due to the inaccessibility factor," the
A number of relocation requisitions have been sent by the Latehar, Gumla, Palamu and West Singhbhum police which are hot beds of Left-wing extremism.
Gumla has identified 58 polling booths, West Singhbhum 60, Palamu 30, Latehar and Khunti 15 booths each.
"We are taking steps to secure booths," Bhimshen Tuti, the Gumla SP, said.