Raipur: An improvised explosive device (IED) was today recovered from Maoist-hit Dantewada district of south Chhattisgarh, two days ahead of the first phase of Assembly election in the state.

The IED, weighing around 20 kg, was spotted by a joint team of paramilitary forces and district police, and it was meant to target polling staff travelling to the region, police said.

A joint party of CRPF, CISF and district police were on a road opening operation under Kuwakonda police station limits when they saw a group of Naxals planting the device, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Narendra Khare said.

The IED, kept in a steel container, was being planted near Ganjemar village on a road which connects Dantewada district headquarters to Kuwakonda police station, he said.

On seeing the security forces, the rebels fled from the spot leaving behind the explosive device. Security personnel chased them but the ultras managed to escape in deep forests, he said.

Security personnel are conducting de-mining and road opening exercise in the region to ensure safety of polling parties scheduled to reach to their respective booths by Sunday for the first phase of voting on November 11.

Eighteen Naxal-affected constituencies in districts of Bastar, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Sukma, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Kanker and Rajnandgaon will go to polls on Monday. Maoists have put up posters calling for the boycott of elections in Chhattisgarh.

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