Jharkhand on alert as police fear Maoist attacks

Jharkhand on alert as police fear Maoist attacks

Ranchi, April 12: Jharkhand is on high alert in light of the Lok Sabha polls as police believe security forces in the state could come under Maoist attacks, an official said Saturday.

“Advisories have been issued to state police to stay alert as Maoist guerrillas could target trains carrying security forces,” a police official told IANS.

“Maoist guerrillas are upset as the first phase of the polls in Jharkhand was peaceful,” the official added.

In the first phase April 10, polling took place for four seats where Maoists have a strong presence. The second phase polling on April 17 is also in Maoist affected areas.

The official said the Maoists are desperate to execute a big attack on the security forces.

“The road and railway routes are vulnerable as both pass through jungle areas,” the official added.

The polling percentage in the first phase was 58.03 percent – an increase of eight percent as compared to the previous election – despite a boycott call by the Maoists.

Jharkhand Police along with para military forces combed the area before the first phase polls.

In the second phase, six of the 14 Lok Sabha seats – Ranchi, Giridih, Hazaribgh, Dhanbad, Khuti and Chaibaasa – will go to the polls.

As a precautionary measure, security forces and polling officials were airlifted and taken to the polling booths.

In Khuti constituency, Aam Aadmi Party candidate Dayamani Barla has complained to the police that Maoist organisation People’s Liberation Front of India is threatening its party supporters.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state.