In the wake of the killing of a CPI candidate allegedly by Maoists in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, Telangana Chief Electoral Officer of Telangana, Rajat Kumar has said that they are keeping an ‘active watch’ in the state.
“We are vigilant and actively watching the activities of Maoists after the Sukma incident,” he said. He further added that they have identified over 10,000 ‘critical’ polling booths among the 32,574 stations.
In Sukma on Thursday, Kalmu Dhruva, a CPI candidate who was contesting from Konta constituency was lynched to death allegedly by the Maoists for defying the poll-boycott call.
Two weeks ago, tension prevailed in Telangana’s Bhupalapally district after Maoists allegedly erected banners and distributed pamphlets in Upedu Veerapuram village in Venkatapuram mandal asking the villagers to boycott the elections. Creating further panic, a dummy wired with a detonator was also left at the scene.
The banner, undersigned by the outlawed CPI(Maoist) party, read, "Boycott the upcoming elections and fight for Telangana. All parties are thieves. Kick out the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party which is coming and asking for votes."
Both Chhattisgarh and Telangana are heading to the polls in November and December respectively. While the polling date for Telangana is December 7, Chhattisgarh will go to polls on November 20. The date for the 18 allegedly Maoist-hit constituencies of Bastar, Kanker, Sukma, Bijapur is November 12.
Meanwhile, talking about the law and order preparedness in the state, the state Chief Electoral Officer said that the situation is largely under control. He said that there were three poll-related violent incidents so far in which 16 people were injured. He also said that 15,950 persons were arrested for violating the MCC.
According to EC, they have appointed 10 IPS officers as police observers in the state, who would monitor all the activities relating to force deployment, law and order situation and co-ordinate between civil and police administration.
Cash and liquor seizure
The EC noted that they have seized Rs 64. 35 crore so far and liquor worth Rs 5.16 crore. The officials have also closed down 1,677 belt shops and seized gold and silver weighing 3.541 kg and 67.934 kg respectively.