Efforts have begun to evacuate polling staff by helicopter to the Naxal-hit Bastar Lok Sabha constituency.

Bijapur/Sukma. Efforts to evacuate polling staff by several helicopters began on Tuesday amid tight security in the Naxal-hit Bastar constituency in the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls. Voting for this seat will be held on April 19. Officials of the Chief Electoral Officer’s office in the state said that the process of sending Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and polling teams to the polling stations in sensitive areas of Bijapur and Sukma districts has been started.

There have been several incidents of Naxalite attacks on security forces during the elections in the two districts located in the southern part of Bastar Lok Sabha constituency. Bijapur District Magistrate Anurag Pandey said that a total of 245 polling stations have been set up in the district for the general elections. Of these, 99 polling stations in interior areas have been shifted (to safer locations). Pandey said around 76 polling parties would be flown to their destinations by helicopters and the process started from Tuesday, three days before polling. He said that the polling parties who will reach their destination before the polling day will stay in the camp nearest to the security forces.

Pandey said that all preparations have been completed to ensure peaceful voting. Bijapur District Superintendent of Police Jitendra Yadav said that a large number of security forces have been deployed in the district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Search and anti-Naxal operations have been intensified in the area. Another official said that the process of sending polling parties to the neighboring Sukma district has also been started. He said that 27 polling parties and EVM machines will be sent to their destinations by helicopter on Tuesday.

Voting for the 11 Lok Sabha seats in the state will be held in three phases on April 19, April 26 and May 7 and the counting of votes will take place on June 4. Only the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency will vote in the first phase. While three other constituencies of Mahasamand, Rajnandgaon and Kankir (ST) will go to polls on April 26. The remaining seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur, Raigarh (ST), Korba, Janjeer-Champa (SC) and Surguja (ST) will go to polls in the final phase on May 7.

Earlier, an official from the Chief Electoral Officer’s office in Raipur said that in view of the Maoist threat and the geographical areas, the polling officials were given 167 polling stations in the three Lok Sabha constituencies Bastar (Scheduled Tribe Reserve), Kankir (ST). will be delivered to the stations. And the helicopter will be used for travel. He said that according to the plan, 919 polling officials will be sent by helicopter to 156 polling stations of Bastar constituency. While 84 personnel will be sent to nine polling stations in Kankir seat and two polling stations in Gariband area of ​​Mahasamand seat. In last year’s assembly elections, the Indian Air Force flew 404 sorties with eight Mi-17 helicopters over six days, transporting 853 polling party members to five districts of Bastar division, Sukma, Bijapur, Kankir, Dantewada and Narayan. It was taken to the polling booth in Pur. Delivered and taken out.

abandonment: Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news is published by PTI’s oral feed.

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