Ranchi: Amidst violence let loose by Maoists, Jharkhand recorded only around 28.5% voting till 1:00pm in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday.
Not many voters were seen at many polling booths in the Naxal-infested rural areas of Chatra, Palamau, Khunti, Lohardaga, Hazaribag and Koderma constituencies.
Nine persons were killed and six others injured when Maoists attacked a CRPF bus in Latehar, about 125 km from Ranchi, barely half an hour after polling began.
Seven BSF personnel, the helper and driver of the bus ferrying them from Ladhup to Arah were blown up by a landmine blast triggered by the Maoists at around 7.30am.
Security forces also exchanged gunfire with extremists near Tamba village in Khunti district, DSP A K Rai said in Khunti.
A major disaster was averted when security forces discovered an IED weighing 200 kg at Vishnupur and defused it.
A bomb, planted about a hundred yards from a booth at a school, was also defused at Ghuria village in Chatra.
Polling was suspended at a booth in Hazaribagh constituency following reports of booth-capturing at Sahapur by supporters of a political party, official sources said.
The election office denied reports of EVMs (electronic voting machines) being captured at Ramgarh in the same constituency.
Gumla SP Upendra Kumar said a police team had been sent to verify reports that three polling staffers were taken away by Naxalites from Vishunpur.