55-60 pc voting in Chhattisgarh | india | Hindustan Times
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55-60 pc voting in Chhattisgarh

india Updated: Nov 15, 2008 17:39 IST

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Naxal violence in which one CRPF personnel was killed and disruptions marred the first phase of Assembly elections today in Chattisgarh which recorded an estimated 55 per cent turnout, as two landmine blasts were triggered injuring four security personnel and over a dozen Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) looted.

The CRPF personnel was killed in Dantewada district when security forces accompanying poll officials at the end of voting were attacked by Naxals.

Naxal-infested Bastar and Dantewada districts, where stray incidents of firing at poll personnel were also reported, were the worst affected during voting for 39 constituencies in the state's second elections held amid tight security since its birth in November 2000. Polling for the remaining 51 seats will be held on Nov.20.

The voter turnout in the sensitive first phase was an estimated 55 per cent of the 63.9 lakh voters, the Election Commission in New Delhi said

A maximum of 70 per cent voter turnout was reported in Dhamtari district while 65 per cent of voters cast their ballots in Mahasumund, they said. Twenty incidents of violence and disruptions have come to the notice of the Commission, a poll official said, adding Polling could not be held in 21 polling booths due to Naxal violence.

In Maoist-infested Bastar and Dantewara, the turnout was 60 per cent and 45 per cent respectively. Chief Minister Raman Singh (Rajnandgaon) is among the contestants whose fate was decided today.

Two special police officers and a district police force jawan were injured in a landmine blast near Gorkha in Dantewada district this morning, Vishwa Ranjan, Director General of Police (DGP), Chhattisgarh told PTI.

The second blast occurred near Chintalnar in Dantewada in which a CRPF personnel was wounded.