Raipur: A low voter turnout of 47 per cent was recorded in the insurgency-hit Bastar parliamentary seat of Chhattisgarh today, amid violence by Naxals, who had called for poll boycott, leaving a police personnel injured.
Naxals ambushed a team of police personnel escorting a polling party when they were returning after conclusion of polling under Gadiras police station limits of Sukma district in south Chhattisgarh, injuring a state police constable, Sukma Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Chandrakar told PTI.
“The incident took place in the forests between Dhruwaras and Munga forests when the rebels triggered a pressure bomb blast followed by indiscriminate firing on security personnel,” he said.
“A police constable – Raju Alami – was injured in the blast,” he said, adding, the injured was being taken out of the forest.
Also, firing was reported near several polling booths and explosives were recovered from separate places in the tribal-dominated seat which went alone to polls in the first phase of parliamentary election in the state.
“As per information, around 47 per cent electorate exercised their franchise in Bastar parliamentary constituency,” Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kujur said.
Polling concluded at 3 PM in seven Assembly seats – Bastar, Chitrakot, Narayanpur, Bijapur, Konta, Kondagaon and Dantewada – of the region while Jagdalpur Assembly seat witnessed polling till 4 PM, he said.
Voting did not take place in Polampalli polling station of Konta region of Sukma district due to fault in EVM machine, he said.
A total of 26 EVMs were replaced during the electoral process in Bastar due to fault in these machines, he said.
“22 Electronic Voting Machines were replaced before polling, 3 during mock poll while one after voting was started,” he said.
Earlier, the explosives – 15 IEDs, 10 kg each – were unearthed this morning by a joint patrol squad of Border Security Force and district force from Nelnar area of Narayanpur district.
Later, owing to security reasons, the Nelnar polling booth was shifted to a nearby place Akabeda, he said.