Raipur: Five improvised explosive devices (IEDs), allegedly planted by Naxals to target security personnel during polls, were unearthed by security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-hit Bijapur district.

Acting on a tip off, five IEDs – two of 5 kg each and three of 3 kg each – were found planted at a weekly market of Usoor village last evening, a senior police official said.

Security personnel have undertaken de-mining exercise in several areas of Bastar after receiving a tip-off that Maoists had planted land mines near polling booths and important roads in the region ahead of elections, he said.

Following the inputs, the joint contingent of CRPF, CAF and district police force rushed to the spot on yesterday evening and defused the bombs, he said.

The IEDs were cleverly hidden under the soil at the weekly market and if activated, it could have caused a major tragedy for security forces, the official said.

Apart from IEDs, wire, five detonators and explosives were also recovered from the spot, he said.

Eighteen Naxal-affected constituencies of eight districts – Bastar, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Sukma, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Kanker and Rajnandgaon will go to polls in the first phase on November 11.

Taking a serious note of the Maoist threat, the Centre has sent additional 400 companies (40,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polling.

Around 65,000 police personnel and 27,000 paramilitary troopers were already engaged in anti-Naxal operations in the state.

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