Salwa Judum camps to have auxiliary polling stations

October 25th, 2008 - 12:04 am ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Oct 24 (IANS) The Election Commission said Friday that auxiliary polling stations would be set up at the Salwa Judum relief camps in Chhattisgarh’s southern trouble-torn Bastar region for next month’s assembly polls in the state.”The Election Commission has made arrangements to set up auxiliary polling booths in the relief camps for the settlers to exercise their franchise,” Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswami told newsmen here late Friday evening.

About 50,000 persons had deserted their native villages due to fear of Maoists since June 2005 after a controversial civil militia movement - Salwa Judum started in Bijapur and Dantewada districts.

The uprooted tribals were settled at 23 government-run makeshift relief camps in these two worst Maoist-violence hit districts.

But government officials now claim that in recent months thousands returned back to their native forested villages.

The CEC along with two election commissioners- Navin Chawla and S.Y. Qureshi - informed mediamen “main polling booths to be set up at villages where the Salwa Judum camp settlers had returned. But auxiliary polling booths in the camps for those are still in the camps”.

Elections in Bijapur and Dantewada district to be held Nov 14 in state’s first phase that will see polling in 39 seats of state’s total 90 seats.

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