5 dead in Ch­hat­tis­garh IED blast


Four civil­ians and a CISF jawan were killed when sus­pected Nax­als det­o­nated a bus with an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice (IED) in Ch­hat­tis­garh's Dan­te­wada district on Thurs­day, four days ahead of the first phase of elec­tions in the state, po­lice said. Two per­son­nel of the Cen­tral In­dus­trial Se­cu­rity Force (CISF) were also in­jured in the ex­plo­sion, the third Naxal at­tack in 15 days in the poll-bound state.

The at­tack comes be­fore Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi's sched­uled visit on Fri­day to Jag­dalpur district, about 100 km from Dan­te­wada, to cam­paign for

the BJP.

The IED ex­plo­sion took place in a hilly area in Bacheli, about 450 km from here, when the CISF per­son­nel were re­turn­ing to their camp in Akash­na­gar af­ter pur­chas­ing gro­ceries from the mar­ket, Dan­te­wada Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice Ab­hishek Pallava told PTI.

The Nax­als trig­gered a pow­er­ful IED blast near curve no. 6 on the hills, killing a CISF jawan, the bus' driver, con­duc­tor, cleaner and an­other per­son who is yet to be iden­ti­fied, Pallava said.

The pri­vate bus, which was tar­geted, was al­lot­ted to the CISF team de­ployed in the Bailadila min­ing area of the Na­tional Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion in Dan­te­wada for elec­tion duty.

Re­in­force­ments were rushed to the spot and the in­jured per­son­nel and bod­ies of the de­ceased shifted to a lo­cal hos­pi­tal, Pallava said.

Se­cu­rity forces have launched a comb­ing op­er­a­tion in the area to trace the ul­tras, he added.

On Oc­to­ber 30, three po­lice per­son­nel and a cam­era­man of na­tional broad­caster Do­or­dar­shan were killed in a Maoist at­tack in Dan­te­wada's Aran­pur area.

Be­fore that, on Oc­to­ber 27, four Cen­tral Re­serve Po­lice Force (CRPF) per­son­nel were killed and two oth­ers in­jured af­ter Maoists blew up their bul­let­proof bunker ve­hi­cle in Bi­japur district.

Nax­alites have asked vot­ers to boy­cott the up­com­ing state as­sem­bly polls, be­ing held over two phases on Novem­ber 12 and Novem­ber 20.

The first phase is to be held in 18 Naxal-af­fected con­stituen­cies of Bas­tar re­gion that falls in the south­ern part of the cen­tral In­dian state.

The re­main­ing 72 con­stituen­cies will go to the polls on Novem­ber 20 and the votes will be counted on De­cem­ber 11.

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