‘Shoot at sight’ orders against trouble-makers in Bihar for polls

Patna, March 15: Fearing violence during the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar, the state administration Saturday said it has issued “shoot at sight orders” against trouble-makers.

State Chief Secretary A.K. Sinha said that the government has made up its mind to act against trouble-makers who try to disrupt peaceful polling during Lok Sabha polls.

Rigging, booth-capturing, violent clashes between rival groups on party and caste lines and killings to create terror were reportedly rampant in Bihar during past polls.

“Shoot at sight orders were given to district officials against mischief mongers during polls,” he said, adding that the authorities have been asked to ensure fair and peaceful polling at all booths.

According to him, more than 3,000 people have so far been identified as suspected trouble-makers who may use muscle power to force voters belonging to weaker sections and others to keep away from the polling booths. The government has identified 1,196 villages as “sensitive” during Lok Sabha polls.

The government has taken 7,340 criminals into custody across the state.

Sinha said that those found guilty of intimidating voters from the weaker sections or forcing them to stay away from polling booths would not be spared.

With over a dozen “bahubalis” or criminals-turned-politicians and their wives in the fray, fear of violence in the state during polls looms large.

There will be six-phased polls for the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats.

IANS