Patna: The Bihar government has sought four helicopters from the Centre for aerial patrol in view of the threat to 19 out of the 40 parliamentary constituencies identified as ‘naxal-infested’.
“We have approached the Centre for making available the helicopters for poll-related works, including aerial patrol in constituencies facing naxalite threat in Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui districts bordering Jharkhand,” a senior police official said.
Naxalites have also made their presence felt in other districts like Jehanabad, Munger, west Champaran, east Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur and Vaishali.
“These choppers will be used for undertaking rescue operations in case naxalites attack polling personnel or the security forces and also closely survey movement of proscribed ultra-left outfits in forest areas,” the official said.
The state police was also undertaking a rigorous exercise of mapping the most naxalite threatened areas and the information would be provided to the Election Commission which would in turn be used as an input while deciding the force deployment during the polls, he said.
The police with the help of the CRPF has already launched intensive operations in areas dominated by the Marxists.
Over two-dozen hardcore naxalites have been arrested and many weapons seized from them in the past four weeks, official sources said.
Senior police officials held a meeting with the nodal officer of Central security forces to chalk out a strategy for deployment of armed forces at polling booths in the affected districts, which go to polls in the first phase on 16 April.