11th NAP (IR) personnel
The 11th NAP (IR) personnel at the spot of blast. Image - Northeast Now

Five security personnel and a driver were injured in a blast set off by Maoists in South Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur on Wednesday.

According to sources, the blast, which took place at around 9 am, had blown a military vehicle near 11th Nagaland Armed Police (IR) Ecoy.

“Heavy gunfire were exchanged. However, no casualties have been reported,” said sources.

A report published on Wednesday by NDTV quoted police as saying that Maoists set off an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on a truck at around 9 am.

Bijapur was among the 18 Assembly constituencies that voted in the first phase of the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh on Monday. However, there were mo polling officials nearby during the incident.

The report quoted Sundarraj P, a senior police officer in charge of anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, as saying: “Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, belonging to 414th battalion, a District Reserve Guard (DRG) jawan, and a civilian, who was driving the vehicle, received injuries in the improvised explosive device (IED) blast.”

Immediately after the incident, reinforcement teams were sent to the site of the blast.

Those who were injured in the incident have been taken to a hospital in Bijapur and are out of danger. If required, they would be air-lifted to Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur, 450 km away, the report said.

It may be mentioned that on Monday, two personnel of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) were injured in a gunfight between security forces and Maoists in Bijapur district and on Sunday, a gunfight took place between security forces and Maoists in the town.

The body of a uniform-clad Maoist was recovered and another Maoist was arrested, stated the report.

It has been reported that the exchange of fire had taken place in a forest when a team of the Special Task Force was out on an anti-Maoist operation.

Interestingly, despite a boycott call by Maoists, Chhattisgarh has recorded over 76 pc voter turnout in the first phase of polling.

The second phase of poling will be held on November 20 and the counting of votes will be counted on December 11, 2018.

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