Narayanpur: The Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Chhattisgarh Police joint party on Thursday came under a Naxal ambush here in the early morning hours while on their way to a polling booth. No casualties have been reported so far.
“Naxals triggered an IED following which they fired on the 60 member party that was moving on foot to Dadwang for polling. ITBP jawans successfully broke the ambush and Naxals were pushed back after a brief encounter. No casualties were reported,” officials said.
The ambush came at a time when the voting process was underway at the Bastar parliamentary constituency in the state.
“The incident occurred at around 04:30 am when the security forces were moving to Dadwang for polling. The forces were moving on foot from Farasgaon to Dadwang, 30 kilometres from Narayanpur,” the officials added.
Bastar recorded a voter turnout of 10.2 per cent till 9 a.m.
On Tuesday, Naxals triggered an IED blast in Dantewada, which killed sitting BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi, his driver and three personal security officers. Following the attack, security measures have been beefed up.
However, the Election Commission stated that polling will be held as per schedule. Collectors and Superintendents of Police of affected districts have been instructed to take the utmost precautions.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s Dinesh Kashyap had registered victory from Bastar. This time the party has fielded its Bastar district chief and former MLA Baiduram Kashyap. Earlier, BJP’s Chhattisgarh unit had requested the party’s Central Election Committee to field fresh candidates in the General elections.
Congress has fielded its sitting MLA from Chitrakoot, Deepak Baij, to contest against Kashyap.
Polling in Chhattisgarh is scheduled in the first three phases of General election – April 11, 18 and 23 – for its 11 parliamentary constituencies.