As the first phase of the assembly elections is underway in 18 out of 90 assembly constituencies in Chhattisgarh, the Maoists in Chattisgarh have threatened the local villagers of Dantewada, Bijapur and Sukma to not only ‘boycott’ the elections but also to vacate the area.
Naxalites wrote in their posters, “Boycott the fake Chhattisgarh assembly elections, the imperialism, the Brahmin Hindutva, the fascist beating the BJP. Stand in public court for other political parties who come to demand votes.”
According to the reports, the Maoists occupying the forest interiors have put up posters not only to boycott the polls but also the “Government backed by the corporates”. The posters are being put up by the Darbha Divisional Committee, which was responsible for the attack on Congress leader Mahendra Karma and his team ahead of the 2013 polls.
The Maoists have also resorted to vandalism and blackening of the EC posters put up to encourage voting in Maoist affected areas. The EC notices around polling booths in areas of Hiroli, Pirnarh or Perpa under Samalwar panchayat have been vandalised by the Maoists and have painted their slogans, flags or messages all around EC notice, asking the police and officials to leave the village.
“Seems they [Maoists] want their presence felt and we even had to carry three trucks of banners and posters out of Bhairamgarh area a few days back, to clear the area of Maoist material,” a senior police official said.
Samalwar panchayat chief Nandram Madkams said that the tribals around the village are completely helpless. He added that the Maoist cadre are carrying out meetings in villages, telling the villagers not to vote.
Earlier today Naxals set off Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) on Tumakpal-Nayanar road at around 5:30 am to target the security forces before the polling began in Naxal-affected Dantewada region of Chhattisgarh today. In Sukma, a makeshift polling booth was set up under a tree after an IED was detected nearby.
The first phase elections are being conducted on Monday in 18 assembly seats across seven districts in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-affected areas across seven districts in Naxal-affected Bastar region and Rajnandgaon district. Reportedly, the officials of Election Commission of India along with the state administration have deployed 100,000 security personnel and nearly 900 election officials, who are being air-dropped from helicopters to their polling stations to ensure their safety.