Sunday, November 10, 2013

Voting begins in Chhattisgarh; one BSF personnel injured in IED blast, Maoists loot EVM

A low intensity IED blast left a BSF personnel injured as voting for the first phase began in Chhattisgarh on Monday. The BSF personnel was patrolling in the interior Pakhanjur of north Bastar.

Bastar inspector general of police Arun Dev Gautam told HT that injured paramilitary jawan has been rushed to hospital and is out of danger. In another incident, Maoists attacked security forces at Titram forest resulting in an encounter at Kanker. There are however no reports of any injury or casualty so far.

The Maoists also attacked Panidongiri polling station at Antagarh in Kanker and looted the electronic voting machine (EVM). The rebels chased away poll officials warning them not to return, poll officials said.

On Sunday night, Congress candidate Samu Kashyap from Jagdalpur and his two supporters were allegedly attacked by unknown miscreants while they were conducting door to door campaign. Kashyap has been admitted in the hospital. He has alleged that BJP men targeted him.

Voting began at 7am on an encouraging note across most of the assembly constituencies in Maoist-affected Bastar zone.

The voting in 12 constituencies in Bastar region will continue till 3pm. This will enable the polling staff to complete their work and return safely before the sunset. Around a dozen choppers have been pressed into service. The voters in the rural areas outnumbered the voters in the urban region during the first hour of polling in which presence of youths remain conspicuous.

In majority of the polling centres in Rajnandgaon and Bastar, the electorates were seen reaching the polling centres with women outnumbering men standing in the queues.

The fate of 145 candidates including chief minister Raman Singh would be sealed in the first phase of polling on Monday.

DGP Ram Niwas said maximum security measures have been taken to ensure free and peaceful polling. \"We have fool-proof planning at the micro-level. All polling parties have reached to their respective centres before the voting began\".
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