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Forces engaged in anti-naxal op can’t be diverted for poll duty : DGP

Bhubaneswar, Mar 15:
Odisha police want an additional 50 companies of Central forces for the ensuing twin elections in the state, DGP Prakash Mishra told newsmen today after reviewing the situation on the southern range.
Mishra said there is no question of diverting the Central paramilitary forces (CPMF) as well as the SOG from the ongoing operations against the Maoists Ruling out diversion of central para-military force (CPMF) from ongoing anti-naxal operations in Odisha.

Prakash Mishra, DGP
Prakash Mishra, DGP
” It is not advisable. They will of course provide security to the polling booths in their respective areas but can not look after the whole election exercise,” he said.
Mishra said the state has already asked the Centre to provide additional 50 companies of CPMF or about 5000 security personnel for the smooth conduct of the Lok Sabha and assembly polls in both the phases, divided by a gap of 7 days.
The DGP said special attention will be  given to the cut-off areas of Malkangiri which has become the hub of Maoists, adding, there were some other pockets in Kandhamal, Malkangiri and Nuapada districts where the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) could pose serious challenges.

The DGP said ensuring the safety and security of voters and candidates would be the priority for the security personnel. “We would request the candidates to keep us posted about their travel schedule so that adequate arrangements can be made to ensure their security,” he said.

Following an Election Commission directive, state police would also keep tabs on election expenditure by parties and candidates so as to prevent the use of money power in the election, Mishra said.

Ruling out air surveillance in Maoist affected areas, the DGP said the intelligence gathering apparatus would be strengthened to foil the designs of the red rebels to disrupt the polls.

The DGP said that proper coordination has been established with the police of neighbouring Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand for conduct of peaceful elections in the state.

To tide over the communication problem in some of the inaccessible areas, temporary towers would be set up in these areas besides using about 200 satellite phones, the police chief said.

Replying to a question, Mishra said he has no information about the proposed surrender of Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP) leader Sabyasachi Panda and Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) leader Nachika Linga.