Ranchi, Latehar, Gaya: Stepping up their attacks, Maoists today struck in Bihar, Jharkhand,Chhattisgarh and Orissa, killing 17 people, including five election officials and ten security personnel, and looted electronic voting machines in a bid to disrupt the first phase of polling for Lok Sabha.
Naxalites blew up a vehicle carrying poll officials in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district, killing five of them and injuring two others, police said.
They attacked polling booths and exchanged fire with security forces in Dandewada and Narainpur areas in the state, they said, adding that one CRPF jawan died of bullet wounds and five others were injured in Maruki in Dandewada, about 350 kms from Raipur. Casualty among the ultras was not known.
The naxals struck at Mangnar and Jangampal in Dantewada district and in Nernar, Sonapal and Karmari in Narainpur region, around 250 kms from the Chhattisgarh capital, Additional Director General of Police Girdhari Nayak said.
A day after attacking CRPF, the Maoists targeted a bus carrying BSF personnel in Jharkhand’s Latehar area by triggering a landmine blast at around 7.30 AM leading to the death of seven personnel from the border force besides the civilian driver and helper, and injuries to several others.
Deputy Commissioner Sarvendu Tathagat in Latehar, about 125 kms from Ranchi, said the BSF personnel were returning from Ladhup to Arah after having carried of patrolling duty in naxal strongholds. A helicopter has flown to the spot for rescue operations, he said.