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33K Cops For Phase II

Bhubaneswar: Around 33,000 security personnel including 102 companies of central armed police force (CAPF) and 66 platoons of Odisha police have been deployed for the second phase elections in the State to be held tomorrow. 

As many as nine districts including four Maoist-affected districts of Kandhamal, Boudh, Balangir and Bargarh are going to poll on Monday. Apart from the four districts, Maoists posters also found in Rourkela are. So, adequate security arrangements have been made accordingly, DGP Arun Sarangi said here today.

The first phase election in four parliamentary and 28 assembly constituencies in the state was passed peacefully with a massive voter turnout. Though six worst naxal affected districts went to poll in the first phase, there was no Maoist related violence during the pre-poll, poll and post-poll period due to intense anti-Maoist operations and real time intelligence collection, he said.

In the second phase, five parliamentary constituencies of Aska, Kandhamal, Bargarh, Bolangir and Sundargarh and 35 assembly constituencies coming under these constituencies will go for polling in the second phase, Shri Sarangi said.

Voting will be held at 9,162 polling stations located at 7,339 locations, of which 556 booths have been set up in Maoist affected areas. Keeping the security in view, a total of 102 companies of CAPF and 66 platoons of Odisha armed police including 47 additional SsP, 88 DSPs, 236 inspectors and 2000 sub-inspector or ASI have been engaged on poll duty, he informed. 

As elections are going to be held in naxal-hits areas, special operational arrangements have been launched. Since January 1, 2024, 549 anti-naxalite operations were carried out in these districts and one Maoist cadre in Kandhamal and two in Boudh have been neutralized, he pointed out.

The DGP further informed that 117 operational parties of CAPF and 38 units of Odisha police are in action and conducting area dominating exercises to ensure smooth conduct of the poll.

Neighbouring Chhattisgarh state is also set to launch operations in four locations using four operational units of CRPF in the bordering areas. He said, to monitor the anti-LWE initiative in the second phase, additional DG of Police operation, S Deva Datta Singh, ADG Operation has been camping in LWE affected areas.

Further, 655 mobile patrolling parties, 48 inter-state border check (CCTV installed), 93 intra-state border check posts, 257 flying squad teams and 251 static surveillance teams have also been deployed for this phase of election. 

Informing about the violence incident at Khallikote area where one BJP worker was killed, the DGP said, “We have considered the incident as a matter of serious concern and formed an SIT to probe the case. The SIT has arrested two persons today in addition to nine persons arrested earlier.”

The police will complete the investigation very soon and submit the chargesheet so that the trial can be completed at the earliest, Sarangi assured.

Additional DGP (headquarters) Radha Krishna Sharma is camping at Chhatrapur to oversee law and order in Ganjam district, he stated. 

“Following the incident, I have conducted a videoconferencing meeting with all superintendents of police and instructed them to follow zero tolerance towards any kind of violence. If anyone is found violating the law, strong action will be taken against them,” the DGP warned.

If any police official is found to be involved in such an incident, he/she would also face the music, he added.