Re-polling held in Chhattisgarh amid Maoist boycott (Lead)

April 27th, 2009 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, April 27 (IANS) Re-polling at 25 polling booths spread over three Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh was carried out largely peacefully Monday, barring incidents of firing by Maoist rebels in two booths in the Bastar constituency, election officials said.
No polling officials or securitymen were injured in the firing by Maoists guerrillas who tried to terrorise the voters in Dantewada district, officials said.

Election officials said that polling was peaceful with an estimated 22.69 percent voters exercising their franchise in the 20 booths in Bastar while 60 percent voting was recorded in four polling stations in Rajnandgaon. A 74.16 percent voting was recorded in one booth in Korba. Polling began at 7 a.m. Monday.

Heavy security arrangements were made, especially in the forested Bastar region where two helicopters kept aerial surveillance on Maoist insurgents.

Polling booths of Bastar seat wore a deserted looks as Maoist rebels had called for a boycott of the parliamentary polls and threatened to chop off the hands of those casting their votes.

The state went to polls for all 11 Lok Sabha seats April 16. The Election Commission ordered re-polling in 25 booths due to disruption of voting by Maoists.

Maoists had killed seven people April 16 - five poll officials in a landmine blast in Rajnandgaon district and two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in a gunbattle in Dantewada district of Bastar region.

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