New Delhi: The Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra saw 61 per cent voter turnout in the first phase of Lok Sabha election on Thursday, even as the region was marred by two separate IED attacks and an encounter with security forces throughout the day.
An IED (improvised explosive device) blast took place around 10.30 am in Waghezari area, around 150 metres from the polling booth where people were standing in queues to cast their votes for the Lok Sabha election, an official said. No casualty was reported in the incident.
In another attack, two police commandos were injured in a blast triggered by Naxals, while escorting a polling party in Gadchiroli.
The blast took place near Hetri village in Etapalli tehsil when the polling party was returning to the district headquarters after the voting was over, said a police official.
As the team reached Parsalgondi area, the IED was triggered and two C-60 commandos were seriously injured, he said.
In the third strike, an encounter broke out between security forces and Naxals in Gadchiroli, when a polling party was returning in the evening. The skirmish took place at Tumdikasa near Murumgaon Area Operation Post of state police around 4 pm when a team of election officials, CRPF and police was returning, after the voting was over, on foot, an official said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra announced, “Polling could not take place at four polling stations of Gadchiroli as the polling teams could not reach there. These are naxal-affected areas. EC will go for re-poll in these four polling stations.”
On the other hand, at least three women were killed and 25 others injured when a tractor carrying them overturned in Gadchiroli, while they were returning after casting their vote at Shankarpur polling centre.
The incident occurred around 2 pm at Dongar Mendha village in Desaiganj taluka.
Gadchiroli is among the seven seats where polling was held in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra.