Violence in Gadchiroli during re-polling
Re-polling at 22 booths in Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district on Thursday was also marred by Maoist violence when Left-wing extremists fired at security and polling personnel at four places in the district to disrupt polling.Full Coverageindia Updated: Oct 16, 2009 01:02 IST
Re-polling at 22 booths in Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district on Thursday was also marred by Maoist violence when Left-wing extremists fired at security and polling personnel at four places in the district to disrupt polling.
Polling could not be held at these booths on October 13 because security concerns prevented polling agents from reaching the booths on time. Thirteen of these booths were in Aheri, seven in Armori and two in the Gadchiroli Assembly constituency.
Despite the violence, Armori recorded 74 per cent voting while Gadchiroli recorded a 71.13 per cent voter turnout.
Maoists fired a few rounds shortly before polling began at Kotmi near Etapalli early on Thursday morning. Tension also prevailed at Tadgaon when Naxalites indiscriminately fired on election officials in the afternoon.
Tadgaon is barely 30 kms from Laheri where the rebels had killed 17 policemen last week.
Naxalites struck again in the evening when they fired on police and polling parties returning after voting was completed.
There were no casualties in any of the incidents.
Maoists also fired at polling and security personnel in Pitli-Borgi under Aheri Assembly constituency and Korchi in Armori constituency. However, reinforcement through the Mi-17 helicopters saved them. Paramilitary forces retaliated compelling the Naxalites to flee.
“Timely reinforcement through air force choppers helped us counter Naxalite designs in those areas,” said Additional Superintendent of Police of Gadchiroli, Manoj Sharma.
Polling was peaceful at the remaining 18 booths, claimed Atul Patne, the district collector. “As we conducted re-polling only in 22 booths, we could deploy maximum forces in those areas and that boosted the morale of security forces,” Patne said.
The average polling percentage of Aheri constituency, where re-polling was held at 13 booths, was only 38 per cent. However, nobody turned up for voting at Bamanpalli polling booth.