DGP issues alert for naxal-affected areas in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Close on the heels of the deadly Maoist attack on the convoy of BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, Odisha DGP in-charge Bijay Kumar Sharma today issued an alert in naxal-affected areas of Odisha.

The alert has been issued in Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada districts. Sharma said that all arrangements have been made so that voters can visit poll booths without any fear. State armed force and central paramilitary force have been deployed at multiple locations. As per information, 31 platoons of paramilitary forces, 12 platoons of armed forces and other police forces along with BSF jawans have been deployed.

“After the attack in Chhattisgarh, it is a big challenge for us to ensure smooth conduct of elections in naxal-affected areas of Odisha,” Sharma said.

Sharma also advised the candidates to remain alert and refrain from roaming outside during night hours. The DGP in-charge also advised them to inform security personnel before stepping outside in daytime.

Mandavi, his driver and three personal security officers were killed when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off in Kuakonda area, a forested part of Dantewada district, this evening, they said.

The “meticulously planned attack” was carried out when Mandavi was hurrying to an election meeting just before the close of election campaign at 5 p.m. for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls due on Thursday, the police said.

For the first & second phase polls in Odisha on April 11 & 18 respectively, of the 7233 total number of booths in nine districts, 1417 booths have been identified as sensitive.

(With PTI inputs)