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Polling Booth Deserted In Chhattisgarh’s Sensitive Tribal-Dominate Bastar Region Amid Naxal Violence

Outlook’s Rakhi Bose reports from Sukma’s Neelavaya village where in 2018, a journalist and two security personnel lost their lives in an ambush ahead of elections. This year, villagers of Neelavaya remained at home. no one from the village came to vote.

Polling Booth Deserted In Chhattisgarh’s Sensitive Tribal-Dominate Bastar Region Amid Naxal Violence
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Voting in 20 assembly constituencies in Chattisgarh took place on November 7 under the first phase of Assembly Elections and 12 of those seats are in the sensitive tribal-dominated Bastar region, where the threat of Naxal violence looms large. 

Several polling booths in sensitive areas remained deserted as villagers were fearful of attacks or retribution. Despite heavy security and assurances by the Bhupesh Baghel government, violence was reported in several locations including Sukma, where Naxals allegedly opened fire on security personnel near a polling booth. An IED blast also took place on the morning of polling. 

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