Close on the heels of a BJP MLA killed in Maoist-bombing in Chhattisgarh, Gajapati’s superintendent of police Sarah Sharma said the landmine was recovered from under a bridge near Paniganda village under Adaba police station area in Odisha.
Police in Odisha’s Maoist-affected Gajapati district recovered 50 kg of landmine under a culvert on Tuesday, just two days before the first phase of polling of the Lok Sabha election 2019 in the state. Gajapati’s superintendent of police Sarah Sharma said the landmine was recovered from under a bridge near Paniganda village under Adaba police station area.
“Security personnel spotted the landmine planted under a bridge. A long wire guided the personnel to the bridge. The explosive has likely been planted by the Maoists to disrupt election process,” said Sharma, adding the bomb has been defused.
The Maoist-affected districts of Gajapati, Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada and Nabarangpur are going to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha election on April 11.
Odisha’s director general of police (in-charge) BK Sharma issued an advisory to all the superintendents of police of the Maoist-affected districts to remain on alert.
Posters by the Communist Party of India-Maoist terming the candidates as frauds were found in Mathili area of Malkangiri district asking people to desist from voting.
“The candidates visit the remote areas in the district during election time only to seek votes and disappear after that. Don’t believe them and boycott the elections,” the poster put up by CPI-Maoist’s Darbha Division Committee said. Similar posters threatening people to kill were spotted at Boipariguda area of Koraput district on April 2.
Officials of the Election Commission said that of the 8,872 polling booths in the first phase of polls, 2,375 have been marked critical. The Border Security Force (BSF) on Wednesday appealed to the voters in the Maoist-affected districts to take part in the first phase of the polls.
“Regular area domination exercises are being carried out in the affected areas in close coordination with state police and local administration. We have been instrumental in containing the Maoist menace to a large extent,” said BSF’s inspector general AK Singh.
Nine battalions of BSF have been deployed in the affected-districts where polls are being held.
Polling in all the 21 constituencies in Odisha will be held in the first four rounds of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election 2019 from April 11 to April 29. Votes will be counted on May 23.