Naxals set off an IED near a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp at Gatta-Jambia village in Etapalli tahsil of Gadchiroli on Wednesday, injuring an Assistant Sub-Inspector. The incident, which occurred hours before polling is scheduled to be held in the area, raised concerns about security.
“The blast occurred around 3.30pm, 200m away from the post as security forces and the polling party were going to a booth about 8 km away,” said Superintendent of Police Shailesh Balkawde.
“An ASI of CRPF, Sunil Kumar, received an injury on his leg. He was shifted to Gadchiroli, where he is doing fine,” he added.
“Later, at about 1 km away, Naxals also fired at another party but our men gave a fitting reply following which the Naxals took to their heels,” said Balkawde.
Due to high sensitivity, polling in Naxal-affected districts can be carried out until 3 pm. The real test of security is when the polling party has to be brought back to safer ground on foot, which could take crossing several kms of deceptive terrain.
In a similar incident, Naxals had in 2014 ambushed a polling party returning from Jimalgatta in Aheri tahsil, killing one CRPF personnel.