Maoist shadow over Bihar polls

Voting will start at 7 am and close at 3 pm, instead of 5 pm.  The decision has been taken in view of the deployment of Central paramilitary forces in the Naxal-affected areas and the convenience of the voters who want the polling to be over before dusk.

Incidentally, a majority of the 45 constituencies in six districts—East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Samastipur—which are going to the polls on Sunday are Naxal belts. The morale of the police is reportedly low after six of their colleagues were killed by the banned outfit CPI (Maoist) on Friday night at Sheohar.

While five policemen died on the spot after the Naxals triggered a landmine explosion on Saturday. Tirhut DIG Pankaj Darad and Sheohar SP Vinod Kumar visited the site to take stock of the security situation in the area.

Friday’s killings were a grim reminder of the Nov 2005 Jehanabad jailbreak in the midst of an Assembly election. Around 1,000 Naxalites besieged Jehanabad town, freed 341 prisoners, looted more than 200 rifles and abducted more than 20 Ranveer Sena activists.

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