Two days before polling for Assembly elections in south Chhattisgarh where pockets of Maoist dominance exist, the massive deployment of Central Para-Military Forces (CPMFs) has become a matter of concern for senior State police officials.

In a bid to ensure smooth and peaceful polling, they have appealed to the Maoists for a temporary truce.

Admitting that the trebling of forces has been a matter of concern, Inspector General (Bastar Range) Arun Dev Gautam said: “I appeal to the Maoists for a ceasefire as members of additional force have not come here to fight but to protect democracy. The rebels should think about it and let the people exercise their democratic rights without fear, if they are concerned about the welfare of the region.”

As CPMFs from outside Chhattisgarh deployed on election duty here have not had exposure to policing in areas affected by Left-wing extremism, they received a 10-day crash course in the tactics of the Maoists such as ambushing security personnel and use of improvised explosive devices.

Other district-level officers are also worried about the sudden rise in “human targets” in the form of additional security personnel and are deploying those unfamiliar with the operational capabilities and designs of the Maoists in base areas rather than frontlines.