M A I N   N E W S

Elections in Naxal areas tough for Bihar admn
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

The police shifts an injured officer to a hospital in Lathehar
The police shifts an injured officer to a hospital in Lathehar on Wednesday. ó PTI

Patna, April 15
Belying the tall claims of the state administration and the Election Commission that they were fully prepared to conduct elections even in the Naxal strongholds where the ultras have given a call to boycott the polls in Bihar and Jharkhand, around 100-armed extremists owing allegiance to the MCCI attacked a BSF camp located in a government school building at Dhansa under Biharís Rohtas district at around midnight on Monday barely 30 hours before the polling was scheduled in that area.

One BSF jawan was injured in the incident but he has been declared out of danger by the doctors treating him at Patna.

In quick succession, the ultras also attacked a CRPF party at Barwadih under Jharkhandís Latehar district early in the morning on Wednesday first by causing a mine blast (IED) and then an ambush. CRPF IG Alok Raj told The Tribune that one of his jawans, Dharmendra Yadav was killed and 10 other jawans were injured in the encounter with the Naxals and the driver of the bus provided by the district administration to transport the CRPF jawans also died in the incident. The injured CRPF men were airlifted to Ranchi and admitted to a private hospital for better treatment, said Alok Raj. On their part, the CRPF men had also killed five naxals during the encounter and their bodies had been recovered from the spot, he informed.

According to him the jawans of 14th Battalion (ULFA company) deployed for poll duty were on their way to Morwai from Barwadih (Latehar) when the bus carrying them came under mine attack near Mahuatand valley. Subsequently, a fierce gun battle ensued between the armed Naxals and the security forces. Regarding the attack on the BSF in Bihar, Patna zone IG Sunil Kumar said one company of the BSF (around 75 men) deployed for poll duty had been stationed at a school building which was surrounded by hillocks and forest cover (around 20 km away from the district headquarters).

The gun battle between the BSF and the armed squad of Peoples Guerilla Army carrying automatic weapons continued for hours during which the ultras also used Rocket Launcher causing extensive damage to the school building. One BSF Jawan injured in the incident.

The SP of Rohtas had launched a combing operation in the area with additional reinforcements. The IG further informed that the police with the help of the BSF jawans had been carrying out intensive raids in that area for the past few days and they had also demolished a deserted training camp of the Naxals located atop the hilltop.

Biharís Principal Secretary (Home) Afzal Amanullah said on the basis of Rohtas district administrationís request, a proposal had been sent to the Election Commission for postponing the polling in 11 booths under the Chenari Assembly segment of Sasaram Lok sabha constituency for a couple of days. The Rohtas administration wants to conduct the polls on these booths considered to be a bastion of the Naxals on April 19 by deploying the paramilitary force on a larger scale.

The administrationís apprehension is that the Naxals could attack one full company of the BSF, they might create bigger problems if the polling was held with just one section of the CPMF on every booth. However, the Election Commission was yet to take a decision.



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