[As Maoists in India denounce India’s claimed “democracy” as deceptive and fraudulent, the Indian state deploys nearly 150,000 troops, and moves hundreds of voting stations out of rebellious regions. See the following two reports from the mainstream Indian press. — Frontlines ed.]
Maoist posters calling for poll boycott found at bus stand
Business Standard, Tuesday, October 22,
Maoist posters calling for boycott of the upcoming Assembly polls were found pasted at a bus stand in the Kanker district in Chhattisgarh, where as many as 18 Maoist-affected constituencies will go to polls on November 11.
Three posters and two banners were found put up at the waiting hall of the bus stand under Pakhanjore police station limits last evening, a senior police official told PTI today.
Although, security personnel regularly visit villages to instill confidence in the people to vote, the rebels have appealed to villagers to kick both the BJP and Congress out of power, the police said, adding that a case has been registered in this connection.
Meanwhile, taking serious note of the Maoist threat, the Centre has sent additional 40,000 personnel of paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polling, in addition to around 65,000 police personnel and 27,000 paramilitary troops already engaged in anti-Maoist operations in the state.
As many as 18 Maoist-affected constituencies in Chhattisgarh will go to polls on November 11, while the remaining 72 constituencies will vote in the second phase on November 19.
Poll booths in red zones may be relocated
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Raipur, October 20, 2013
Chief election commissioner VS Sampath on Saturday hinted at the possible relocation of nearly 150 polling booths in the hyper-sensitive Bastar zone.
The Chhattisgarh police had recommended that the state EC shift 323 polling stations in the Maoist-infested zone, but the figure was reduced to 299 by the state commission following its own assessment, and forwarded to the EC.
“Efforts would be made to bring the polling booths closer to villages in these areas where the reach is inaccessible”, Sampath said.
Out of the 21,424 polling stations in the state, there are 6,920 sensitive and 3,249 hypersensitive polling.
The EC affirmed that very elaborate security arrangement has been made to ensure free, fair and participatory elections.
“The security measures will be so elaborate, that Bastar might have never seen something like this before”, Sampath said. At the same meeting, the EC cautioned political parties to not mix the approaching festivals with politics.