Four civilians and a CISF jawan were killed on Thursday when suspected Maoists blew up a bus with an improvised explosive device (IED) in poll-bound Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, police said.
Two personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were also injured in the incident.
“Seven people including three CISF jawans from Akash Nagar camp were going for routine purchase on a private bus, deployed for election duty, when they were targeted by the Maoists,” IG Bastar Vivekanand said.
The attack comes a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi are scheduled to campaign in Bastar. Modi will be in Bastar on November 9 while Rahul Gandhi will address rallies in the region on November 9 and 10.
The civilians killed in the blast included the bus driver, conductor and cleaner, Pallava said.
The CISF unit has been deployed in the area for the first phase of the forthcoming polls in the state, which the Maoists have asked people to boycott.
This is the second Maoist attack in ten days. A Doordarshan cameraperson, covering elections, and two policemen were killed in an ambush in Dantewada district on October 30.
The three-member Doordarshan team was heading for reporting on a new polling booth in Nilawaya near Sumeli camp. People in Nilawaya have not exercised their voting rights for the past 20 years.
Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in Chhattisgarh in two phases on November 12 and November 20. In the first phase, 18 constituencies of eight naxal-affected districts –Bastar, Kanker Sukma, Bijapur, Dantewada , Narayanpur, Kondagaon and Rajnandgaon will go to polls.
The remaining 72 constituencies vote on November 20. The counting of votes will be held on December 11.
First Published: Nov 08, 2018 13:35 IST