Kalpetta: The police have beefed up the security for candidates in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency following the Maoist campaign in the jungle zones against the elections and threat of attacks against the candidates.
Intelligence agencies have warned of possible attempts by Maoists to kidnap the candidates to grab national attention as Wayanad is now a ‘VVIP’ constituency with Congress president Rahul Gandhi contesting from there.
The security for NDA candidate Tushar Vellappalli of the BDJS and LDF candidate P.P. Suneer has been increased.
Additional security will be ensured during campaigning in villages bordering forests, according to police.
Tushar Vellappalli was set complain to the DGP and the home secretary regarding threats to campaigning. A host of national leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah and Sitaram Yechuri, will reach the district in the last lap of the campaign.
Wayanad is the only constituency where lie all the seven legislative seats bordering jungle zones in the Western Ghat region. It was in Karulayi forests in the Nilambur Assembly seat that two Maoists, Ajitha and Kuppu Devarajan, were shot dead by the Thunderbolt commandos in December, 2016. The three legislative constituencies in Wayanad district-- Mananthavadi, Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery-- are known for Maoist movements which are also linked to Silent Valley forests bordering the jungles of Nilgiri district in Tamil Nadu and Brahmagiri jungle zones in Coorg district of Karnataka.
It was near Meppadi near Kalpetta where Maoists kept hostage a few employees of a resort who were later released. Again it was in Upavan resort in Kalpetta a Maoist worker C.P. Jaleel was killed in an encounter recently. The Special Protection Group that provides security to VVIPs had refused to allow Rahul Gandhi to visit the house of CRPF soldier V.V. Vasanthkumar, the martyr of Pulwama terrorist attack, early this month, citing Maoist threat.
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