The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has deployed additional troops, drones, road opening parties, and withdrawal teams to successfully conduct voting in newly created polling stations in hypersensitive areas in Chhattisgarh.
A senior CRPF officer informed that teams of polling agents have left for their respective duties in remote locations as they have to walk on foot for ten kilometres to reach the location.
“The new polling stations that have been created this time are at distant locations like Konta where vehicular movement is not possible. Polling agents along with security personnel armed with sophisticated weapons left the location on Monday morning,” the officer said.
On October 25, ahead of the Chhattisgarh elections, DG CRPF Sujoy Lal Thaosen, along with other senior officers, visited the Forward Operating Base of 131 Bn in the Naxal-affected region of Tondamarka, Sukma. He assessed their battle readiness and strategized for operations.
He added that around 450 polling stations have been created in the areas that used to be a stronghold of Maoists but security forces got them cleared. “We have the task of deploying and withdrawing polling teams after elections. We have made a plan and teams have been formed with each having a specific role,” the officer said.
In the last two years, CRPF has established 22 new forward operating bases or camps in naxal areas. Another officer informed that two additional companies of the CRPF’s commando battalions (CoBRA) have been deployed in sensitive locations and an additional 62 CRPF companies have been brought to the state for deployment in sensitive locations.
“We are keeping a special focus on polling booths in places such as Mirminda, Kurma, and Elmagunda where polling booths have been set up for the first time. These areas were under the dominance of Naxals and never witnessed voting. We have deployed additional troops and drones for peaceful voting on November 7,” the officer said.
A senior officer said that they had a coordination meeting with senior officers of the state police and the election commission, especially focusing on sensitive and hyper-sensitive polling booths. The role of road opening parties in sanitizing the area during the movement of election parties is very important.