Naxals set off Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) minutes before the polling began in Naxal-affected Dantewada region of Chhattisgarh today.
Dantewada: 1-2 kilograms of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasted by naxals near Tumakpal camp in Katekalyan block. Voting is underway for 10 out of 18 seats in the first phase of #ChhattisgarhAssemblyElection2018.
— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2018
As per reports, IED was triggered by Naxals on Tumakpal-Nayanar road at around 5:30 am to target the security forces. No harm to security forces as well as polling party has been reported. An IED has also reportedly been recovered in Bijapur.
Voting is underway in 18 assembly constituencies today, of which 12 seats are considered ‘Naxal hotbed’. As Chhattisgarh prepared itself for the assembly elections, many parts in the state saw setting up of polling booths for the first time. Katekalyan’s Talem village of Dantewada is one such village.
As a runup to the elections, Dantewada saw a spike in Naxal attacks on security personnel. In October, the Naxals attacked a patrolling party in Anantpur area of Dantewada in which Doordarshan TV crew member Achutyananda Sahu lost his life and two CRPF personnel were martyred as well. Before that, the Naxals barged into the BJP leader Nandlal Mudami’s house and grievously bludgeoned him. A day prior to that incident the Naxals ambushed a bullet-proof bunker vehicle killing 4 CRPF personnel and seriously injuring 2 others. In September, the Naxals had issued a warning to the locals in their stronghold of Bastar and Kanker region to desist from voting in the upcoming assembly elections.
Not just that, a day before Prime Minister’s rally in Chhattisgarh, Naxals blew up a CISF vehicle in Dantewada where 1 CISF personnel and 3 civilians lost their lives.
Out of total 90 assembly seats, 18 are up for polls today. Remaining will vote on 20th November. The counting will take place on 11th December.