Mangaluru, May 22, 2015: It is evident that the police have intensified security operations in Maoist-affected areas of the district where GP elections will be held on May 29. Polling will take place in 227 gram panchayats of which 65 are in Maoist-infested areas.
Superintendent of Police Sharanappa S.D, stated that area- securing exercises to infuse confidence among residents were conducted.
SP Sharanappa said that a plan detailing the number of personnel required for 880 of the 1,300 polling booths has been prepared. The proposal has been sent to the State Headquarters. He said officers have started visiting polling booths to ascertain the suitability the location.
Police are already under heightened alert following reports of sighting of some Maoists in forests in Chikkamagaluru a week ago. Reports said B. Krishnamurthy, a top Maoist leader who had been absconding for the last few years, and Vikram Gowda, were among those who were sighted. This group has been active in the State, the reports said.
Among the vulnerable areas are Kultur and neighbouring areas in Kudremukh National Park. While some tribal families are coming out of the National Park area receiving compensation packages, there were also families who want to stay on. Vittala Malekudiya, a post-graduate journalism and mass communication degree holder has been fighting against displacement of tribal families.
He has been in the forefront of the agitation for basic facilities namely road and electricity for the tribal families living in the forest area. Vittala, who along with his father are facing charges of aiding Maoists, are among the candidates in the poll fray now.