Several polling parties still stationed at Bastar

Several polling parties still stationed at Bastar

Fifteen people, including six CRPF personnel and seven polling officials, were killed by Maoists in two separate incidents in the Bastar,  Chhattisgarh on Saturday.

Out of 1,795 polling teams for Bastar, as many as 170 polling parties are yet to return to their headquarters as of Saturday. Polling teams move only after receiving a green signal from the road opening parties comprising paramilitary and police forces that accompany them. Traversing terrain is a tedious and time-consuming process, sometimes involving treks that last up to three days.

This time, the task was more challenging for security agencies because of the comparatively low strength of security forces in Bastar, as opposed to that during Assembly polls in October.

Several Maoist-affected segments will go to polls in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 17, when polling will be held in Rajnandgaon, Kanker and Mahasamund. At least one Assembly segment in Rajnandgaon (Mohla-Manpur) and four in Kanker (Kanker, Keshkal, Bhanupratappur and Antagarh) are affected by Left-wing extremism.

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