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|September 30, 1999||
Bihar takes special steps to prevent poll violence
Special steps to avert any violence in the final phase of polling, mostly in the flood-affected northern districts of Bihar would include a flag march by paramilitary forces, to instil a sense of confidence among the electorate, it has been officially announced.
State home secretary U N Panjiyar said a few of the 147 companies of central paramilitary forces available with the state are maintaining a close watch on the strong rooms where the ballot boxes had been kept after the first two phases of the polling in the state.
He said over 100 companies of the Bihar military police, 26,000 district police and 30,000 Home Guards would also be deployed in the third round of polling on October 3, besides several companies of paramilitary forces available from the four constituencies of Bhagalpur, Purnea, Khagaria and Rajmahal where elections have been deferred because of floods.
The home secretary said inter-state and inter-district borders would be sealed before polling day to prevent the movement of anti-social elements and firearms. Altogether 40 people, including more than 20 security and polling personnel, were killed in the first phase of the polls on September 18 in landmine blasts in the extremist affected area of Hazaribagh, Palamau and Rohtas districts while at least 15 people were killed in the poll and post poll related violence in the second phase of the Lok sabha elections in the state.
Panjiyar said police superintendents of the concerned districts had been directed to remain on maximum alert. A close watch was also being maintained on the movement of the suspected people at public places. He said adequate number of static forces would also be deployed in the sensitive booths which came to more than than 60 per cent of the total booths.
The constituencies which would go to the polls in the third phase in the state are Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Madhubani, Jhanjharpur, Rosera, Samastipur, Saharsa, Madhepura, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnea and Katihar.
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