Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, April 4:
The Union government will provide 60 companies of security forces to the Odisha to ensure free and fair elections in the state.
A majority of the security personnel will be deployed in the Naxal affected districts going to polls in the first phase on April 10, according to sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) here. The forces would include CRPF, BSF and Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP), they said.
While 50 companies of central forces will come from the Home Ministry, another 10 companies will come from Andhra Pradesh and some from neighbouring Jharkhand. Besides, the Home ministry would also provide 232 satellite phones for use during the elections, the sources said.
The security personnel will be deployed in the state till the election result is declared. However, 18 companies will be deputed to neighbouring state Andhra Pradesh after the first phase elections, the sources said.
The state government already has at its disposal 89 companies of central para-military forces in the state.
Meanwhile, the election commission has declared that the officials engaged for election work will be provided an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh in case of any fatal incident. If any official dies following a Naxal attack or or is killed by anti-social elements, the person will get Rs 20 lakh as compensation.