Raipur, Oct 27 (IANS) The police said Monday that it was ready to provide security cover to politicians who wanted to campaign in the Maoist stronghold Bastar interiors of Chhattisgarh ahead of the Nov 14 assembly polls.
'Insurgents have boycotted polls and threatened to target candidates and party workers who campaign in the interiors,' A.N. Upadhyay, inspector general of police, Bastar, told IANS.
'We can provide security cover to those who seek to campaign in the Bastar interiors,' Upadhyay said.
Chhattisgarh's 39 assembly seats out of 90 are going to the polls Nov 14. These include 12 seats in the state's southern revolt-hit Bastar region where insurgents run a parallel government since the early 1980s.
'Maoists have issued several press notes at the local level and pasted banners and posters in Bastar interiors announcing that they would punish leaders if they campaign in the region,' Upadhyay said.
The insurgents have said that they will catch politicians and their party workers found campaigning in Bastar and would produce them at 'jan adalat' (Maoists court) where strict punishment would be given in full public view.
Maoists have killed nearly 1,100 people in Chhattisgarh's mineral rich Bastar region since 2004, including 726 civilians.
Insurgents killed 12 troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force in Bastar Oct 20, the day when filing of nomination papers for the Nov 14 polls began.