Patna, Sept 28: The biggest challenge ahead in the Bihar assembly elections are the security arrangements. There will be 500 companies of the central forces which will be in Bihar till the elections are complete. The biggest challenge is however, the first phase of the elections which will be conducted in South of Bihar. The South of Bihar faces the biggest problem from naxals and there are intelligence inputs that suggest that they will try and disrupt the elections. A large part of the security mechanism will be in South Bihar which goes to polls on October 12 and 16 as part of the first phase. Naxal alert: The Bihar state intelligence unit has warned that the naxals would try and strike during the elections.
The naxals while examining the CPI(Maoist) foundation week reiterated their resolve to carry out more strikes. Intelligence alerts went on to suggest that they would make attempts to target the central forces. The Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Border Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal and Indo-Tibetan Border Police would be in their full strength during the conduct of the Bihar elections. With the naxal alert being sounded very high, the local police who are familiar with the terrain would conduct regular combing operations. The task would be to identify landmines and defuse them. The naxals normally tend to target the forces from the centre.
Moreover, forces from the centre are more vulnerable to a naxal hit as they are not familiar with the terrain. The Home Ministry has instructed the Bihar administration to ensure that the local police cooperate fully with the central forces and there should not be any untoward incident during the elections. Naxals shall not disrupt the elections at any cost, the Home Ministry has stated. Apart from being on guard, the central forces would be in full force at the booths.
The Election Commission has this time said that it wants the booths to be guarded by the central forces 100 per cent. Earlier the norm was that security at the booths would be divided by the central and state forces on a 60:40 ratio. This time around the EC wants to take no chances and has sought for a 100 per cent deployment of central forces at the polling booths.