Security has been stepped up along Uttar Pradesh's Nepal border and the three naxal affected districts after 15 security personnel and a civilian were killed in a blast triggered by Maoists in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli on Wednesday.
Since, only 39 of the total 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in UP have witnessed polling in the initial 4 phases so far, the state government has further strengthened the security apparatus.
Many of the 41 constituencies, which will vote in the remaining three phases of Lok Sabha elections on May 6, 12 and 19, are situated along the porous Indo-Nepal border or the Maoist-affected districts of Chaundauli, Mirzapur and Sonebhadra, bordering Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
According to sources, the central agencies had alerted the UP security establishment about possible attack in the three Maoist-affected districts even as the Lok Sabha elections are underway. Polling in these districts is due in the last phase on May 19 along with the VIP constituencies of Varanasi and Gorakpur, before the counting of votes takes place on May 23.
After getting the central security alert, the UP Director General of Police (DGP) headquarters has issued directives for intense checking and vigil in these three districts.
In fact, similar alerts have also been sounded in other Maoist affected states, including Chhattisgarh, where 8 of the total 27 districts are considered as highly Naxal affected.
Meanwhile, UP DGP (Law and order) Anand Kumar, who is also the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief, has ordered the respective district police heads for ensuring fool proof security arrangements in the areas falling under their jurisdiction.
Besides, alert has been sounded in the UP districts along the Indo-Nepal border, including Bahraich, Shrawasti, Balrampur, Siddharth Nagar and Maharajganj, were polling is due in the coming phases.
In UP, nearly 1,05,000 cops, including police, paramilitary and provincial armed constabulary (PAC), have been deployed for election duty. UP, which accounts for the maximum number of 80 seats, is scheduled for polling in 7 phases viz. April 11, 18, 23, 29, May 6, 12 and 19, progressing from the Western region towards the Eastern UP districts.