Lok Sabha candidates in Wayanad constituency are under threat from Maoists operating in the region, a report by the Special Branch of police said. The police have been asked to beef up the security of the candidates campaigning along the forest borders of the constituency. Gunmen have also been deployed for the safety of the candidates following the threat.
Wayanad has turned into an important constituency ever since Congress President Rahul Gandhi was fielded as the UDF’s candidate from the constituency.
A few days ago, wall posters by Maoists asking people to refrain from voting in the upcoming polls had appeared in parts of the constituency. According to reports, a letter with a similar message was recently sent to the Wayanad Press Club.
According to the special branch report, Maoists will attempt to make use of the present situation to get national attention, reports ManoramaOnline.
“However, the special branch of Wayanad has not mentioned threats to any specific candidates,” an official from police headquarters told TNM.
Meanwhile, NDA’s candidate Thushar Vellapally has apprised the Election Commission of the threat. "I have written to the Election Commission about this intelligence report from the Kerala police. They will provide the necessary security accordingly,” he told TNM. The state government has already provided him with two gunmen and Thunderbolt commandos.
PP Suneer, the LDF candidate in the constituency, on the other hand, has denied the report of any Maoist threat. “Some people aim to spread the message that a peaceful place like Wayanad is dangerous due to the presence of Maoist threat,” he said.
Several high profile national leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and BJP President Amit Shah, will be visiting Wayanad in the coming days for the election campaign.
Last month, CP Jaleel, a Maoist leader, was shot dead by the Kerala Police at a resort in Vythiri in Wayanad. Jaleel’s kin had the come out saying that police had killed him in a fake encounter.