Maoist threat ahead of panchayat polls

Bolangir: "If you are interested to contest in the panchayat elections than you have to have our permission mandatorily. Otherwise one should be prepared to face dire consequences ". The Maoists have issued the ultimatum to local politicians of about 20 contiguous panchayats under Khaprakhol block in Bolangir district and Komna block in Nuapara district. The ultras have distributed large number of posters and leaflets in the panchayats to send the message to the politicians ahead of the polls while the police administrations of the two districts preferred to remain tight-lipped about the development.

Following the appearance of Maoist posters in 10 panchayats under Khaprakhol block and eight panchayats under Komna block, several aspirants who have already filed nominations have decided to withdraw their candidatures with just one day left for filing of nomination papers. The Maoist diktat has spread a sense of fear and uneasiness among the panchayat level politicians of all the political parties. Said Chudamani Bag, a sarpanch aspirant from Jhankripal panchayat in Bolangir district,"I have filed my nomination. But now I think it will be wiser to withdraw than to face the wrath of the Maoists." While Brajasunder Patel, another sarpanch aspirant from Agren panchayat in Nuapara district is caught between the devil and the deep sea. Said he,"I have no choice but to contest. I have to take the risk."

Senior police and CRPF officials have in the last week held several meetings to draw the blueprint for the conduct of an incident free election in the areas. The police officials prefer to remain mute in reaction to the Maoist posters and threats. The Maoist ultimatum undoubtedly posed serious challenges to the district administrations and men in charge of security.