Massive de-mining exercise launched in naxal-hit Bihar
Stung by on Monday’s landmine explosion at Aurangabad, which killed three CRPF men including a Deputy Commandant and injured eight others, security forces have launched a massive de-mining exercise in Naxal-affected areas of south Bihar that are going to polls in the first phase of elections on April 10.
Additionally, the state government has decided to increase the strength of security forces including central paramilitary and Bihar Police personnel to 53,000 from 46,000 to ensure smooth polling.
‘Several teams and sniffer dogs have been pressed into de-mining process. We have also decided to deploy 53,000 security personnel for the first phase of elections in the state,’ Bihar Police Additional Director General (ADG) (Law and order), SK Bhardwaj told PTI on Tuesday.
Six Lok Sabha (LS) constituencies - Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada, Jamui, Sasaram and Karakat - are going to polls on April 10. All these seats fall in Naxal-affected areas and have seen several incidents of violence over the last few months. Sources said routine de-mining exercise by Bihar Police and CRPF had already been going on for the last few days in these six LS constituencies and over 100 landmines of various capacities were recovered from different places. These include 27 landmines planted in a series on half-a-kilometre-long road stretch at Imamganj in Gaya district.
‘The Aurangabad landmine explosion that happened on Monday was an accident during the defusing process. The Maoists had planted three ‘pressure-sensitive’ Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). One exploded, while the other two are being defused on Tuesday by Bomb Disposal Squads,’ said Bhardwaj.
CRPF is considering IEDs as the biggest threat, especially during the election season when the movement of forces goes up manifold. Sources aver that the Maoists have planted a number of them to disrupt the polls.
‘IEDs planted on the roads are the number one threat to security forces. The Maoists have made their stand clear regarding their plans to disrupt the general elections. We are trying to preempt it by a massive de-mining exercise in areas south of Grand Trunk Road (NH-2),’ CRPF DIG Chiranjeev Prasad said.