Four people, including two security personnel, were killed and another injured in a powerful landmine explosion by Naxals, while three left-wing extremists were gunned down in an encounter with the CRPF in separate incidents in Bastar area of Chhattisgarh on Sunday.
Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) AN Upadhya said, “A CRPF jawan, a policeman and two villagers were killed when they tried to defuse landmines.” He said the landmines were planted by Naxalites under a culvert on the road between Bhopalpatnam and Bijapur.
In the light of escalated violence in the restive Bastar zone, Director General of Police Anil Navani told HT that policemen were prepared to handle any threat by the rebels and ensure peaceful polls on April 16.
In another incident, three left-wing extremists were gunned down in an encounter with the CRPF in Kanker district.
Acting on a tip-off, 65th battalion of the force entered the thick jungles in Sarandi area of the district, looking for the presence of naxals in the area, SP Ajay Yadav said.
A two-hour encounter ensued in which three Naxals were killed and 11 weapons, including assault guns, were seized from their possession, he said.
CRPF Director General AS Gill is currently in the state to review security situation for the upcoming polls following Friday’s ambush by Naxals.
Seventy-six polling booths are going to be shifted to relatively safer places in the state. In Bijapur district, which recorded 35 per cent polling, the lowest in the state, during the last assembly elections, 32 booths have been relocated.
(With PTI inputs)