In the midst of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections in 18 constituencies of eight Maoist-hit districts, a gunfight ensued at Bijapur, leaving five Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) personnel injured this morning. The security forces, however, retaliated and gunned down at least five Naxals in the exchange of fire at a forest in Pamed area, located around 500 km from the state capital Raipur.
"Around five Naxals are dead in the encounter that broke out between security forces and Naxals in Bijapur's Pamed area today. All the CoBRA personnel are out danger," the news agency ANI reported.
#UPDATE: Three more personnel of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) are injured and around five Naxals are dead in the encounter that broke out between security forces & Naxals in Bijapur's Pamed area today. All the CoBRA personnel are out danger. #Chhattisgarh https://t.co/TkhHF0pjpG— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2018
The skirmish took place when a team of security personnel was patrolling in view of growing Naxal attacks ahead of Assembly polls in the region. According to preliminary information, a group of Naxalites opened fire on the patrolling team and fled the spot. Soon after the incident, reinforcement was rushed to the spot and efforts were on to evacuate the injured commandos by a helicopter.
Later in the day, two Maoists were killed in a separate encounter with security forces in Sukma. The forces have recovered two rifles from the party.
Besides, the Naxals triggered IED blasts at several other places, including Dantewada and Kanker to disturb the assembly elections in the state. Earlier, they threatened people of chopping their fingers if they cast their votes in the state. However, no harm to the polling party has been reported in the incident.
The first phase of voting in 18 constituencies of eight Naxal-affected districts, including Bijapur started at 7 am and is scheduled to end at 5 pm this evening. Around 1.25 lakh security personnel were deployed in the sensitive region to ensure peaceful polling.
The second phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections for the remaining 72 constituencies will be held on November 20 and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 11, 2018.