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Sharmili Mallick

Kandhamal: With stage set for the second phase of polling in Odisha tomorrow, security has been heightened in the State particularly in Maoist affected regions for smooth conduct of the general elections.

Five Lok Sabha constituencies Aska, Kandhamal, Sundergarh, Bargarh and Bolangir and 35 Assembly constituencies under them will go to polls in the second phase of 2019 elections tomorrow.

Briefing on the security arrangements in various Maoist-dominated regions of the State, Police DIG (western range) Kabita Jalan said that as per guidelines of the Election Commission, polling booths have been categorised as sensitive and critical and the scale of security deployment has been done in those booths accordingly.

Jalan informed that Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) have been deployed in sensitive booths. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Special Operation Group(SOG) and District Volunteer Force (DVF) personnel have been asked to intensify anti-Naxal operations in various Maoist-infested areas of constituencies going to polls. Flag march is also organised to create awareness to maintain peace in view of elections.

“We have held discussions with our neighbouring States regarding security issues on the borders. They have engaged anti-Naxal force in their borders and we have also deployed CRPF and other forces like DVF and SOG nearby bordering areas to prevent any kind of untoward incidents. The security procedure will remain in force till the conclusion of the elections,” said the DIG.

“Mobile parties and patrolling vehicles have been engaged for the security of polling parties and voters. We have also deployed striking force in some sensitive zones so that immediate action can be taken in emergency situation,” added Jalan.

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