Full security for poll officials in Bengal’s Maoist belt


Kolkata : Helicopters will be on stand-by for emergencies as the authorities are busy making fool-proof security arrangements in West Bengal’s Maoist heartland which goes to the hustings May 10.

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“With the polls to the 14 constituencies of the Maoist-affected districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts slated to be held May 10, we are drawing up a plan to deploy a huge number of central paramilitary force personnel,” said additional chief electoral officer N.K. Sahana.

“Security personnel will be deployed in the area six to seven days prior to poll day for area domination and gain the confidence of the voters. The polling officials will be kept in the cluster points at night on poll eve and they will be sent to the polling booths next morning under a thick security cover,” he said.

The roads to be taken by the election officials will be thoroughly checked by anti-landmine vehicles. Moreover, three helicopters will be kept on stand-by for ferrying them in case of emergencies.

Sahana said the state government will give Rs.5 lakh to the next of kin of an official who dies due to unnatural causes while on election duty. The amount will be doubled if the death is caused due to any violent acts of anti-social elements or extremists like Maoists.

If the official suffers a major injury, he will get Rs.1 lakh as compensation and for minimum injury, the authorities will bear the entire treatment cost, said Sahana.