statesman news service
Kolkata, 8 July
Two thousand odd policemen from city today refused to go to Maoist-hit Junglemahal for panchayat election duty without sophisticated arms.
The policemen came to Bankura via Junglemahal from Kolkata in buses. When the vehicles carrying them came near Heavy More in Bankura, policemen refused to move to Junglemahal without sophisticated weapons. “ "With lathis and 303 rifles we are not going to fight the Maoists,” they said. Police were scheduled to be posted in the Maoist-hit areas of Ranibandh, Barikul, Sarenga and Simlipal. The matter was resolved after senior police officers of Bankura district administration intervened. Mr Mukesh Kumar, superintendent of police Bankura said it was decided that these policemen would be posted in Bishnupur, Taldangra and Kotolpur.
Meanwhile, candidates taking part in the forthcoming panchayat elections can take only one motor cycle rider along with them during campaign. To take more bikers permission of district administration is mandatory, the decision the state election commission said today.
The decision comes following the allegation by the leaders of different political parties at the all party meeting that teams of biker accompanying candidates of Trinamul Congress are scaring voters.
The joint forces began their movement towards the booths situated in West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura where the first phase of panchayat election would be held on 11 July. Air surveillance in Junglemahal will begin tomorrow. In an interesting development, the Jalpaiguri district administration are keeping elephants to ferry polling personnel to the booths in case the rivers getting flooded owing to heavy rain.