Collectors, superintendents of police (SP) and candidates contesting elections in the Maoist-prone districts were alerted by Odisha Director-General of Police (DGP) B.K. Sharma in the wake of the Maoist landmine blast in Dantewada district in adjoining Chhattisgarh on Tuesday that killed five persons including a BJP MLA.
Polling will be held on April 11 in Koraput, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Berhampur Lok Sabha constituencies and 28 Assembly seats. The parliamentary constituencies include Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Gajapati districts that have Maoist presence and border Maoist-prone regions of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. The Maoists have given a call for poll boycott.
After the Dantewada violence ahead of the first phase polling, Mr. Sharma also issued safety directives for candidates. He advised them not to move out during night and to inform security personnel about their travel during the daytime.
Two landmines found
On Tuesday, a CRPF team unearthed two landmines planted by Maoists under a culvert in the Andharghati area of Adava police station limits in Gajapati district. These landmines contained around 50kg explosives.
On April 11, a total of 60,03,707 voters will exercise their franchise at 7,233 polling booths, of which 2,375 have been identified as critical. Personnel of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) will be deployed at 777 booths, which are mostly in Maoist-infested areas.
The Border Security Force (BSF) has been entrusted with election security duty in Odisha for the first time. Inspector-General (IG) Ashwini Kumar Singh pointed out that paramilitary force has been deployed for safe conduct of polling in major Maoist-hit areas of Nabarangpur and Koraput parliamentary constituencies and 14 Assembly seats.