Lack of choppers prevents airlifting polling staff from Bastar

November 16th, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Nov 16 (IANS) About 250 polling staff who were sent to Chhattisgarh’s Maoist stronghold of Bastar Nov 14 for the first phase of elections are still stranded in the thickly forested area - due to lack of helicopters to airlift them, the police said Sunday.Chhattisgarh went to polls Nov 14 for 39 out of 90 seats in the first phase of polling for the assembly elections.

In several revolt-hit areas, Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters airlifted polling teams at booths with a strategy to bring them back either to the district headquarters or safer areas before sunset.

“At least 250 polling members are still inside the forested areas. Our effort to bring them back on the polling day failed due to non-availability of helicopters,” sources at police headquarters told IANS.

The sources added: “Majority of the polling personnel who are still trapped in forested interiors are in Bijapur and Dantewada district where local police stations have been asked to escort them and also provide help to them”.

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