Blast In Chhattisgarh On Voting Day

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Raipur: An IED blast has been reported on Monday morning by Naxals on Tumakpal-Nayanar road at around 5:30 am to target security forces. No harm to security forces and polling party. Party safely reached to Nayanar polling booth no. 183 under PS Katekalyan.

Polling in eight constituencies began at 8 a.m. on Monday and it was underway in 10 others in the first phase to elect a new Chhattisgarh Assembly.

Amid tight security, voting for 10 of the 18 seats began at 7 a.m. and will end at 3 p.m. Polling in the remaining eight seats will continue till 5 p.m.

The 10 seats where early voting started are Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon.

Polling stations opened an hour later in Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot. All the 18 constituencies are known as Maoist hubs.

Over 31 lakh voters, including over 15 lakh males and in excess of 16 lakh females, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 4,336 polling booths.

The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off just 700 metres from polling booth number 183 in Nayanar village in Katekalyan area, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer said.

The attack happened around 6.20 a.m., just 40 minutes before the voting process began here along with nine other seats in the Maoist-infested region.

“There was no injury or loss to the polling team. Voting started as per schedule,” said the officer.

It was the fifth Maoist attack in 17 days in the Left-wing extremism (LWE) affected state, police said, adding that the attacks were part of an attempt to disrupt elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly.

Amid tight security, voting at 10 of the 18 seats scheduled for the first phase began at 7 a.m. These were Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon. It would end at 3 p.m.

Polling in the remaining eight seats which began at 8 a.m. would continue till 5 p.m. All 18 constituencies are known Maoist-hubs.

Maoists on Sunday detonated an IED, killing a Border Security Force Assistant Sub-Inspector in Kanker district when the troopers were on foot patrol.

The Left-wing extremists have asked people to boycott the elections.

On November 8, a Central Industrial Security Force head constable and four civilians were killed when the insurgents blew up a mini bus they were returning in after buying vegetables and groceries here.

Doordarshan cameraman and three Chhattisgarh Police personnel were killed in a Maoist ambush here on October 30.

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