Maoists may strike during Jharkhand polls

Three days ago, a sports utility vehicle (SUV) carrying BJP candidate from Latehar, Brajmohan Ram, turned upside down and his bodyguard along with the driver died on the spot.

However, Brajmohan, who sustained grievous injuries, was rushed to Ranchi where he is recuperating.

The Special Branch of the Jharkhand Police now apprehend that it was not a mere accident. It was a design by the Maoists, owing allegiance to the banned outfit Tritiya Prastuti Sammelan Committee (TPSC), to weed out mainstream politicians.

The revelation comes at a time when the central and the state intelligence agencies have warned the Jharkhand Police and political parties that a Bastar-type attack, which left 25 people dead, was likely during the five-phase elections in Jharkhand.

Political leaders have been asked to beef up security arrangements and inform the local police one day in advance so that proper coordination and sanitisation of the area could be done.

It may be recalled that last year, the ultra-Left wing Maoists had attacked a convoy of top Congress leaders near Bastar in Chhattisgarh which wiped out the top Congress leadership in the state, including former Union minister V C Shukla.

In Jharkhand, a similar attack is expected by the banned outfit TPSC, which, a couple of days back, gunned down CPI (Maoist) zonal commander Chetlal Yadav in Chotanagpur region.  

The five-phase poll for the 81 Assembly constituencies begins from November 25 and concludes on December 20. Already, 22 out of 24 districts in Jharkhand have been declared Maoist infested, while eight out of these 22 districts have been declared “highly vulnerable.”

“We are taking all the necessary precautions to thwart the nefarious designs of the Maoists,” said the Jharkhand Director General of Police (DGP) Rajiv Kumar, adding that all major political parties have been put on alert.

“The political parties have been advised to share the details of their travel plan and election meeting venue with the police 24 hours in advance so that proper security arrangements could be made,” said IG, Ranchi, M S Bhatia.

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