Maoists triggered an IED blast near a polling booth at Etapalli in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Thursday even as voting is underway in the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections. No injuries have been reported yet.
Earlier in the day, a blast was reported from near a polling booth at the Dandwan area of Chhattisgarh's Narayanpur at 4.15 am on Thursday. When the blast occurred, security personnel and polling officers were present at the booth. No damage to life or property has been reported. However, the area has been put on high alert. The blast comes two days after a BJP MLA was killed in a blast in Dantewad.
Narayanpur comes under the Bastar Lok Sabha seat. "The explosion took place around 4.15 am in Farasgaon area on Narayanpur-Dandwan road when a team of security men was escorting polling personnel to their booth," the official said. Naxals had planted the explosive underground and were waiting for the security forces to arrive.
"However, when the rebels realised that security personnel had changed their route and were zeroing-in on them through a forest, they triggered the IED (improvised explosive device) blast in panic and fled the spot," he said. "No harm was caused to the security and polling personnel in the explosion," he added. A thick security blanket, comprising around 80,000 state and paramilitary personnel, was thrown across the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency where polling is being held in its four Assembly segments - Dantewada, Konta, Bijapur and Narayanpur - from 7 am to 3 pm, he said.