Patna: Indo-Nepal and inter-state borders in Bihar were sealed and shoot-at-sight orders issued, as authorities get ready for the first phase election in 13 out of 40 Lok Sabha constituencies tomorrow in the state.
Prominent candidates whose fate would be decided in the first phase are Lalu Prasad of RJD and Rajiv Pratap Rudy of BJP (Saran), Union ministers Meira Kumar of Congress (Sasaram) and Hina Shahab, wife of controversial RJD MP Md Shahabuddin (Siwan).
An electorate of over 1.75 crore are eligible to cast their votes in the 13 constituencies, where 21 women candidates are among 223 in the fray.
Elections would be held in Gopalganj, Maharajganj, Ara, Gaya, Buxar, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Nawada, Saran, Sasaram, Siwan, Karakat and Jamui constituencies.
“We have ordered shoot at sight orders in case security personnel fail to control the situation,” Home Secretary Afzal Amannulah told PTI.
“The Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) have been deployed on the Indo-Nepal borders connecting Bihar and are fully prepared to guard against entry of law-breakers or Maoists.”
The Indo-Nepal border along the state has been sealed and patrol by the Sashastra Seema Bal intensified.
Mounted police have also been pressed into service in areas inaccessible by road, Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Neelmani said.
“The police will be armed with orders to shoot-at-sight those breaching peace and disturbing the poll exercise if they are not able to control them otherwise,” said Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah.
The SSB brass have been asked to keep in constant touch with the authorities in Nepal in view of the poll boycott called by the CPI(Maoist), he said.
A combined force of 1.1 Lakh men and officers, including central para-military forces have been deployed.
The election commisson has changed the poll timing in some seats due to the Maoist menace.
Though beginning simultaneously at 7:00 am, the polling in naxalite-hit areas would conclude at 3:00 pm, two hours before other places.