Jharkhand: poll-bound , Maoist-infested
Walking down the forests of Kumundih in Latehar district, a 100 kms from Ranchi, is not safe. Security forces on early Monday found over 1,500 detonators and 200 pressure cookers used to make bombs and about six-and-a-half-a-dozen cane bombs hidden by Maoists. During the elections, the Maoists were thought to use them to target security forces.
Still, electioneering has swung into Latehar as well as in 12 assembly seat areas that are expected to begin voting on November 25.
But seven members of Shanti Sena, a local Hindu outfit, were shot by the Naxal outfit, People’s Liberation Front of India, in Gumla district, so the polls are cause for concern. Due to warnings received from the Union home ministry, the Jharkhand police are aware that there might be Maoist attacks during the elections.
Before elections, the police is expected to conduct some “combing” operations, according to Jharkhand DGP Rajiv Kumar. In the first phase, all 13 assembly seats slated for the polls are spread over Latehar, Gumla, Lohardaga, Palamu and Chatra districts. These are the Maoist-hit districts that are affected the worst in the state.