Nearly one lakh security personnel have been deployed in the Naxal-affected districts going to polls in the first phase in Chhattisgarh on Monday, throughout the threat from Maoists who have called for a boycott of the elections.
On the evening of the polls, a sub-inspector of the Border Security Force (BSF) lost his life when Naxals detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kanker district while a Maoist was gunned down in an encounter in Bijapur district.
Voting will be held on Monday in 18 seats spread over eight Naxal-affected districts in the State.
A total of 650 companies (roughly around 65,000 security personnel), including of paramilitary forces like the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and other state forces, have been sent by the Centre for poll duty, he said.
These units are apart from the paramilitary personnel and 200 companies of state forces already engaged in the anti- Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh, Awasthi said.
He said around 650 polling booth parties were airlifted by helicopters on Saturday to remote areas while other teams were being sent by road on Sunday.
Choppers of the Indian Air Force and the BSF were pressed into service for the purpose, he said.
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