Adequate security in Maoist affected areas: poll panel

April 22nd, 2009 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The Election Commission says tight security arrangements have been made in Maoist violence affected Lok Sabha constituencies in Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh that go to polls Thursday, with attacks by the rebels having claimed 19 lives in the first phase of elections.
“In Jharkhand, six constituencies are Naxal affected while there could be one or two parts of constituencies in Madhya Pradesh that are Naxal affected,” Deputy Election Commissioner J.P. Prakash said about the second phase of the staggered general elections Thursday.

“We have taken adequate security measures in these areas. Polls will be held in these constituencies between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.,” Prakash said.

On April 16, when the first phase of polls was conducted, large-scale Maoist violence was witnessed in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Maharashtra in which 19 people were killed, including nine civilians.

Prakash said communication systems have been set up in Maoist violence affected areas in the second phase.

On Wednesday too Maoist activity was reported from West Bengal and Jharkhand.

In one incident, the rebels first hijacked a train carrying over 400 passengers and then freed it after four hours in Jharkhand’s Latehar district. In Salboni area of West Midnapore district in West Bengal, suspected Maoists triggered four landmine blasts Wednesday targeting the police. No one was injured.

The second phase of polling will be held in 141 Lok Sabha constituencies in 13 states and 140 assembly segments in Andhra Pradesh and 77 in Orissa.

At least 194.8 million people are eligible to vote in the second phase. A total of 2,041 candidates are in the fray. Among the candidates, 121 are women. A total of 196 candidates from regional parties and 912 independents are among those trying their luck.

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