Koraput: With the outlawed CPI(Maoist) making frantic efforts to disrupt three-tier panchayat polls in the tate and the neighboring Andhra Pradesh allegedly dissuading the people of Kotia gram panchayat in Koraput district from voting, Odisha Police Friday chalked out separate strategies to face the challenge.
While the jawans of Odisha police and Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) staged a flag-march in villages under Kotia panchayat in Koraput district to infuse confidence among voters, DGP S K Bansal said that modern technology like drone would be utilised to keep a tab on the red rebels during the panchayat polls.
If required, helicopters will be used in certain places to ensure smooth elections, he said.
As many as 4 platoons (1 platoon comprising 30 personnel) of police force and IRB jawans carried out the flag-march in 13 wards of the Kotia gram panchayat to instill confidence in the people to participate in the three-tier panchayat polls.
The state police, sources said, decided to conduct flag march after getting inputs on the AP officials attempting to dissuade the voters from exercising their franchise in the elections.
This apart, police also gave a clear message to the ultras not to create disturbance during polls whether in Kotia area or elsewhere in the state.
Accompanied by senior officials, DGP SK Bansal Friday visited Koraput, Swabhiman Anchal in Malkangiri and Kandhamal districts to review preparedness for the free and fair elections in Maoist hit areas. The panchayat polls in Chitrakonda block could not be held in 2017 due to naxal threat,
The SPs Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarngpur, Malkangiri, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Bargarh, Bolangir and Boudh along with range IGs attended the review meeting. They held threadbare discussion of preparedness on the holding polls in the background of the LWE threat.
Apart from Kotia gram panchayat, Koraput police have also organized similar exercise in Pujariput, Sasahandi, Badatargia, Sanatargia under Bariguma police station limit, Beheraguda, Talkamania, Uprmnia, Daleuguda and Dudhari villages under Semiliguda police station area and in Korput Town Police station limit to ensure free and fair panchayat elections.
The police have intensified its action following Maoist rebel killing at least two civilians in Kalahandi and Kandhamal by triggering IEDs in a span of six days.
While meeting reporters in Malkangiri, the DGP said: “Odisha Police has undertaken all preparations for conducting a free and fair elections. Drones will be deployed in Swabhiman Anchal during the elections. If required, helicopters will also be pressed into service.”