New Delhi: Two Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) jawans were injured in the encounter that broke out between security forces and Naxals in Pamed area in Bijapur district of poll-bound Chhattisgarh state.

It is to be noted here that the voting for the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018 is underway in 18 out of 90 constituencies. A thick security blanket has been thrown around the polling stations to ensure free and fair elections.

Earlier in the morning, IED planted by Naxals was blasted in Tumakpal camp in Katekalyan block in Dantewada. An IED was also detected near a polling booth in Konta’s Banda.

Polling in ten constituencies Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, and Konta started at 7 AM and will go on till 3 PM. In the other eight seats: Khairgarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakoot, the polling started at 8 AM and will conclude at 5 PM.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also addressing a mega rally in Bilaspur.

As many as 4,336 polling booths have been set up for the first phase of the state polls. There are 31,79,520 voters, including 16,21,839 males, 15,57,592 females and 89 of the third gender.

In two recent attacks, Naxals have killed nine security personnel and the DD News cameraman, prompting security officials to direct personnel to “maintain a very high state of alert till the polls process is completed”.

The attacks came in the wake of Naxals warning the locals to stay out of the Assembly elections. Security has been beefed up in the area.

The second phase of polling will be held on November 20. The counting of votes will take place on December 11.