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Will vote: Villagers coming to cast vote in naxalite-affected Koyyur village in Karimnagar on Thursday.
KOYYUR (KARIMNAGAR DT): Elsewhere in the country, the Maoists naxalites went on rampage during the first phase of elections, but in Karimnagar district, the erstwhile Dandakaranya region of the naxalites, the elections passed peacefully without any untoward incident.
Incidentally, there was no presence of any armed police forces in the polling stations located in the naxalite-affected villages of the district. Neither the former militants guarded the polling stations. But it was the other department (OD) personnel such as constables belonging to the excise department of other districts, posted at the polling booths only to regulate the queue lines of voters. The Karimnagar district police made unprecedented security arrangements in the naxalite-affected polling stations in the district.
Heavily-armed police personnel were on the move in the jungles conducting combing operations and to avoid intrusion of naxalites into the villages. Besides, the striking force was posted at the police station to meet any eventuality. On the other hand, the police had also constituted 45 Counter Action Teams (CAT) personnel in plan clothes to keep a close surveillance in the villages and check the movement of naxalites if any. “We are not exposed to the general public and the naxalites, but our presence was felt very much in all polling stations in the interior naxalite-affected villages located along the borders of Chattisgarh, ” said a police official supervising the bandobust in the Manthani sub-division.
People arrived in tractors, jeeps, autorickshaws to the nearest polling stations from their hamlets to the Gram Panchayats, he added.
It was surprising to note that there was brisk pace of polling in the naxalite-affected villages when compared to urban areas. Tadicherla mandal reported about 80 per cent polling. The Bheerpur village, the native of top Maoist leader Ganapathi alias Muppala Laxman Rao recorded 72 per cent polling.
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