One Naxal was killed and another detained in an encounter with security forces in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, news agency PTI reported. A search operation is underway. This comes a day before the state is slated to go to the polls for the first phase to elect a new Assembly.
In a separate incident, one assistant sub-inspector (SI) belonging to the Border Security Force was injured in an IED blast in Kanker’s Koyali Beda. The IEDs were planted in a series and were set off in one go between Gome and Gattakal villages. The SI later succumbed to his injuries.
Speaking to news agency ANI, DIG (anti-Naxals operation) P Sundaraj had earlier said, “BSF personnel Mahinder Singh was injured in the IED blast in Kanker’s Koyali Beda. He has been airlifted to Raipur. The situation is normal. Security forces are conducting a search operation in the area.”
According to a senior police official, the Bijapur encounter took place when an exchange of fire broke out at a forest in Bedre area after a team of Special Task Force (STF) was out on an anti-Naxal operation. The body of a Naxal clad in ‘uniform’ and a rifle were recovered from the spot.
In the run-up to the elections, the state has registered an increase in the number of Maoist attacks with security forces fearing similar attacks till the polls are over. The naxals have asked voters to boycott the polls which are scheduled to be held in two phases, on November 12 and November 20.
Five persons — a CISF head constable and four civilians — were killed when their bus was hit by an IED blast in Bacheli, in Dantewada, on Thursday. On October 30, three men, including a Doordarshan cameraman, were killed in a Maoist attack in Neelavaya in Dantewada. On October 27, four CRPF personnel were killed in an IED blast in Bijapur district.
Meanwhile, security has been heightened in seven districts of Bastar division and Rajnandgaon district where elections will take place tomorrow. Around one lakh security personnel have been deployed to ensure smooth conduct of polling.