Maoists Attempt to Disrupt Voting in Saranda

Gua: In a bid to disrupt the voting process, Maoists in Saranda resorted to extreme measures, including felling trees on the road and putting up banners calling for a boycott of the elections.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) Maoists had been stepping up their efforts to prevent voters in remote villages of Saranda forest from reaching the polling booths. In the early hours of May 13th, Maoists attacked voters from Chhotanagra police station and Hatnaburu-Marangponga under Digha Panchayat. They cut down trees at two locations on the main rural road and displayed banners advocating for the boycott of the elections. This resulted in a complete halt in traffic along the route and instilled fear among the villagers.

The location where the trees were felled is particularly challenging, with a high hill on one side of the road and a deep ditch and river on the other. This made it impossible for even motorcycles to pass through, despite the road being the only route to many villages in Saranda. Villagers from Marangponga, Dikuponga, Usruiya, Holongauli, Baliba, Kumdih, Kudliabad, Kolayburu, among others, rely on this road to reach the Sonapi polling station, which is located 10 to 25 kilometers away from these villages. Despite the difficulties, villagers chose to walk to the polling stations to cast their votes.

The actions of the Maoists have not only caused inconvenience to the police, administration, and voters but have also drawn criticism from political parties and local residents.

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