In view of the Lok Sabha elections, the Ministry of Home Affairs in January asked nine Maoist-affected states to focus on “result-oriented” operations, relying more on paramilitary forces trained in jungle warfare.
“The emphasis should be on the quality of the forces rather than the numbers. Simultaneously, operations aimed at detecting improvised explosive devices, anti-personnel mines may be carried out continuously,” said a ministry letter sent to the state Chief Secretaries and DGPs. The ministry had suggested that additional deployment in the Maoist-affected districts during the polls should largely comprise Central Armed Police Forces rather than police from non-affected states, which don’t have the requisite tactical orientation.
The ministry had said there was a need to avoid predictability while planning routes for the security forces and polling parties since Maoists were likely to change the tactics they had used to target the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections.
To ensure proper security for polling officials and voters, the ministry had suggested setting up polling booths around the camps of security forces, saying that since 2009, a large number of security camps had come up in different areas of these states and the that the decision of shifting polling booths might be undertaken in consultation with the Election Commission.
“A nodal officer may be appointed at the state and district level to coordinate security for political personalities on the campaign trail. The district-level officer should have information of public meetings, movements of VIPs and candidates on a given day. Meetings may be held with political parties at the state and district level to coordinate security protocols,” the letter added.