11 Killed in Maoist Strikes on Election Day

In a bid to interrupt Lok Sabha polls, Maoists on Thursday attacked polling centres and government vehicles in four states, killing 11 people, 9 of them security personnel.

In the morning, seven Border Security Force (BSF) personnel were killed in Jharkhand in a single attack while a policeman and a Home Guard were killed in adjoining Bihar, officials said. Maoists, who are opposed to the elections, also carried out attacks in Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

In Jharkhand’s Latehar district, the rebels blasted a bus carrying BSF jawans from Ladhup to Arah, an election center. In the blast, bus driver and his assistant were also killed along with five jawans.

The incident took place near a jungle near Aara village, Sarvendu Tathagat, the Latehar district deputy police commissioner informed. The village is located about 140 km from Ranchi.

According to K N Pradhan, police spokesperson, Maoists also targeted two other places in Jharkhand falling in Khuti and Palamau districts, disrupting voting in both places.

In Bihar, over a dozen Maoists opened fire at a polling station in Bankebazaar in Gaya district, about 130 km from the state capital Patna, killing a policeman and a Home Guard. Besides, they looted an electronic voting machine and four rifles. Two women voters in a queue at the polling centre were injured and were hospitalised.

In Orissa, the Maoists raided four polling booths and set on fire voting machines and a vehicle in Malkangiri and Sundargarh districts, the officials said. Three of the polling stations were in Malkangiri district and one in Sundargarh. The attacks disrupted polling, Inspector General of Police Sudhanshu Sarangi said.

In Chhattisgarh’s southern Bastar region, the rebels sparked panic at six polling stations by opening fire soon after voting began, informed police.

Maoist attacks also sparked panic at six polling stations in Chhattisgarh’s southern Bastar region after the guerrillas opened gunfire soon after voting began, police said. However, no one was injured in the violence in Dantewada and Narayanpur districts, Additional Director General of Police Girdhari Nayak said

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