Policemen patrolled the Naxalite affected areas that went to polls all through Wednesday night. By morning, there were helicopters in the sky, crisscrossing the area. But all that effort could not prevent the Maoists from storming a polling centre at Singhpur village in Gaya within 15 minutes after voting began at 7 am, killing a homeguard and a district policeman.
But nor did the attack scare people into staying away from the polling centres. By 1 pm, the Magadh region of which Gaya is a part had already recorded 32 per cent voting. When polling ended it had crossed 50 per cent. In the worst affected Barachatti area, however, polling was as low as 12 per cent.
Information received from the Maoist dominated areas suggested that despite the Reds having pasted pamphlets warning of revenge attacks, people voted.
The Jehanabad police zealously guarded the district sub-jail, which had been attacked by the extremists in November 2005. In Madanpur block of Aurangabad constituency,the impact of the Naxalite threat was visible.
Villagers here had not voted in the last three elections, for fear of the Naxals. Even this time, there was reluctance. Sources monitoring the polling said, that the voting close to urban agglomerations was reasonable, but in the interior the Red shadow did have its impact.