Bastar by-poll: 40% turn-out, Naxals strike in few places



Raipur: About forty percent voter turn-out was recorded in the Bastar Lok Sabha by-election on Sunday, with reports of firing and land-mine blasts by Naxals at some places.

A special police officer was killed in a Naxal attack in Dantewada, while a CRPF jawan and a polling officer were injured and have been hospitalised.

KK Behar, the deputy chief electoral officer, said 40 percent of the 11,94,453 voters exercised their franchise.

A gunfight broke out in Kurche village when a team of security men were fired upon by Maoists, he said. After a brief exchange of fire, the Ultras fled.

Naxals also allegedly triggered land mine blasts in two places in Dantewada area, but there were no reports of casualties.

Polling could not take place at four booths at Badegadam, Gudse and Telam, as Naxals fired upon election officials, Behar said, adding fresh polling would be held there later.

The by-poll was necessitated due to the death of BJP MP Baliram Kashyap.

The BJP has fielded his son, Dinesh Kashyap, while Congress has fielded Konta MLA Lakhma Kavasi. Counting will take place on April 13.

PTI