EC asks Odisha govt to seal border with poll-bound Chhattisgarh

8 Nov 2018

The Election Commission (EC) has asked the Odisha government to seal its border with the poll bound Chhattisgarh, an official said Wednesday. The Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh will be held in two phases - on November 12 and November 20.
"The state government has been told to seal its border with Chhattisgarh in order to ensure a free and fair elections in that state," Odisha's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar said. The state government has also asked the authorities of eight Odisha districts bordering Chhattisgarh to go for frisking in border areas and keep an eye on the movement of Maoists and people carrying liquor, cash and other materials, official sources said.
The eight districts are Sundergarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Nuapada, Nabarangpurm Malkangiri, Kalahandi and Koraput. On November 5, Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat and the two election commissioners addressed senior Odisha government officials in a video conference, which was attended by district magistrates of these eight Districts. Surendra Kumar and other officials of the CEO's office also attended the conference.
Sources in the state police said the administration may seal roads connecting to towns in Chhattisgarh but Maoists use routes through jungles and not the main roads. "It appears to be a herculean task to check movement of Maoist elements in view of the absence of enough security forces in the state," the sources said. The state government has repeatedly urged the Ministry of Home Affairs for two more battalions of Central Armed Police Forces to seal the border zones, but no such step has so far been taken, the sources said. (PTI)