Firing, explosives seizure in Bastar; 30% polling till noon
Raipur: Naxals opened fire on security forces near 10 polling booths in Chhattisgarh`s Maoist-hit Bastar Parliamentary seat, where around 30 per cent of the electorate cast their votes till noon.
Besides, a huge haul of explosives, including 15 IEDs and three pressure bombs, were today recovered by security forces from separate places, averting a massive strike by the ultras in the insurgency-hit region.
"Naxals opened fire on security forces near around ten polling booths while voting was underway there. No injury or casualty was reported in the incidents," a senior police official told PTI.
Rebels fled to the forest after security personnel launched retaliatory attack on them, he said.
The polling booths where firing was reported are - Korra and Amirgarh in Sukma district, Samoli and Thanikarka booths in Dantewada district, Nednar booth of Narayanpur district, Padeli and Raigabodi in Kondagaon, he said.
Voting was suspended for few minutes in many of these places but presently it is undergoing smoothly, he said.
Polling in Bastar began from 7 am and around 30 percent turnout has been recorded till noon, according to Joint Chief Electoral Officer DD Singh.
The polling time in seven Assembly seats – Bastar, Chitrakot, Narayanpur, Bijapur, Konta, Kondagaon and Dantewada – in the region is till 3 pm while the single Jagdalpur Vidhan Sabha seat will witness polling upto 4 pm, he said.
At some sensitive polling booths, voting started after a short delay while EVMs machine were replaced at some polling booths, Singh said.
Earlier, 15 Improvised Explosive Devices - of 10 kg each - buried underground near the polling booths were found this morning by a joint patrol squad of Border Security Force and district force from Nelnar area of Narayanpur district.
Later, owing to security reasons, the Nelnar polling booth was shifted to a nearby place Akabeda, he said.
In a separate incident, three pressure bombs were recovered from Bhansi police station limits of Dantewada district by a local police team.
Eight candidates, including two women, are in the fray for the lone Bastar seat, where voting is underway in the first phase of elections in Chhattisgarh.
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