Police not to 'allow Maoist to disrupt elections' in Chhattisgarh
Hours after Maoists killed two policemen and a Doordarshan cameraman, Chhattisgarh Police on Tuesday said it would not allow the rebels to disrupt the coming Assembly elections.
"Over 2,000 extra police personnel have been deputed in five districts where the first round of polling will take place in the first phase. The police personnel coming from outside to provide assistance are being trained to deal with Maoists," Special Director General of Police D.M. Awasthi told the media.
"All Inspectors General and Deputy Inspectors General are determined not to allow any disruption during the polls," he added.
Awasthi said the police had been successful in locating several land mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in search operations.
He said all police personnel had been told to use lease number of vehicles during the operations to escape IED blasts -- an old and effective method used by the Maoists to attack security personnel.
"All police personnel have been asked to go on foot during their operations," the officer said.
Explaining the sequence of events leading to the incident, Awasthi, in a media briefing, refuted the apprehensions that the Maoist ambush was an attempt to disrupt the coming polls and said the act was to stop the construction of a road between Sameli and Nilaya.
"A team of CRPF's 111 battalion had gone to the incident site to provide security to the persons involved in road construction between Sameli and Nilaya in Dantewada district. In the meantime, a Doordarshan team covering the construction work and poll-related developments in the area and a police team reached there.
"The Maoists opened fired at the police personnel and the media crew. Doordarshan cameraman and the two police personnel were hit by the Maoists' bullets. The ambush was an attempt to scare away the contractor involved in the road construction. The incident has no relation with the upcoming polls."
DD cameraman Achyuta Nanda Sahu, Assistant Sub-Inspector Rudra Pratap Singh and Constable Mangal Ram died in the ambush.
(With inputs from agencies.)