Maoists threaten to chop hands of voters in Bihar

April 8th, 2009 - 2:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, April 8 (IANS) Maoist guerrillas have put up handwritten posters in Bihar’s Gaya district threatening villagers that their hands would be chopped if they vote in the general election.
“The hands of anyone casting a vote would be chopped,” read one poster in Hindi in Gaya district, about 100 km from here.

The posters, pasted on walls, trees, schools, panchayat buildings, also warn middlemen to stay away from the election process.

“Maoists pasted posters at villages in Bankabazar, Barachatti, Dumaria, Imamganj and Amas blocks of Shergathi sub-division in Gaya,” a Gaya district administration official told IANS over the phone.

The Communist Party of India-Maoist’s Bihar, Jharkhand and north Chhattisgarh units have issued a boycott call for the elections and declared their intention to intensify their struggle.

Bihar elections will be conducted over four phases on April 16, 23, 30 and May 7.

Most Maoist insurgency hit areas will see elections in the first phase. These include the Magadh division, comprising Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nawada, Sasaram, Jamui, the Tirhut division made up of Saran, Siwan, Gopalganj and Maharajganj, as well as the Ara district.

The government will deploy central paramilitary forces in large numbers to suppress the boycott call, officials said.

In the first phase, in which 13 of the state’s 40 seats will go to the polls, choppers will be deployed.

Elections in Bihar have usually been troubled affairs. In the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, 74 people were killed. In 2004, the toll was 20.

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