According to sources, villagers from Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur have requested district election officers (collectors) for the exemption.

District election officer, Dantewada, has proposed not to make indelible ink mandatory in constituencies of his region after villagers urged him in this connection, Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kujur said.

The proposal has been forwarded to Election Commission for further consideration, he said.

According to official sources, a similar proposal has also been received from two more southern districts including Sukma and Bijapur after Maoists allegedly warned the villagers that if anyone is found with ink marks of casting votes, his/her fingers will be chopped off.

Some villagers said they are even ready to brave Naxal threats to cast their votes if the indelible ink will not be applied on their fingers, sources said.

Eighteen Naxal-affected constituencies of eight districts- Bastar, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Sukma, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Kanker and Rajnandgaon - will go to polls in the first phase on November 11.

The Red cadres have been visiting many villages in their stronghold Bastar since last one month, putting up posters and asking people to boycott the elections.

Taking a serious note of the Maoists threat, the Centre has sent additional 400 companies (40,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polling.

Around 65,000 police personnel and 27,000 paramilitary troopers were already engaged in anti-naxal operations in the state.


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