Chhattisgarh Assembly Polls: Naxalites Initiate 2 Low Intensity IED Blasts In Dhamtari Day Before Second Phase Polls

The explosions occurred in the afternoon on the Khallari-Gatapur road under the Sihawa Assembly seat. Reportedly there were no injuries reported during the blasts, which took place while security personnel were conducting a de-mining exercise in preparation for the polling on Friday.

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Naxalites on Thursday triggered two low-intensity IED blasts in Dhamtari in Chhattisgarh a day ahead of the second and final phase of Assembly polls in the state, police officials said.

No one was hurt in the blasts that took place in the afternoon on Khallari-Gatapur road under Sihawa Assembly seat when security personnel were out on a de-mining exercise in view of polling on Friday, a senior police official said.

"The twin blasts took place far away from the patrolling team. No one was hurt in the blasts that were of low intensity. Later, security personnel recovered a 5-kilogram improvised explosive device from the area," he said.

"The team for Khallari polling station had reached their destination much before the incident," he added.

Sihawa, located some 150 kilometres away from the capital Raipur, shares a border with Naxalite-affected Kanker, Kondagaon and Gariaband districts as well as with Odisha.

Sihawa is among the 70 seats where polling will be held in the second phase, the official said, adding that 259 booths have been set up in the segment, including 127 in areas affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE).

Sufficient security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of voting, the official added.

A poll official in Raipur said a total 958 candidates, comprising 827 men, 130 women, and one transgender person, are in the fray in 70 constituencies spread across the state's 22 districts.

As many as 1,63,14,479 voters, comprising 81,41,624 men, 81,72,171 women, and 684 third-gender persons are eligible to exercise their franchise. A total of 18,833 polling booths have been set up for the second phase.

"Of these polling booths, 109 have been categorized as vulnerable, while 1670 as critical. Extensive security arrangements have been made for free, fair and peaceful polling. A total of 90,272 polling personnel have been deployed in the state," he said.

The first phase of polling for 20 seats took place on November 7. Results will be declared on December 3.