Minutes before the first phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls began on Monday, Maoists detonated an IED here that narrowly missed a CRPF foot patrol, the authorities said.The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off just 700 metres from polling booth number 183 in Nayanar village in Katekalyan area, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer said.The attack happened around 6.20 a.m., just 40 minutes before the voting process began here along with nine other seats in the Maoist-infested region."There was no injury or loss to the polling team. Voting started as per schedule," said the officer.It was the fifth Maoist attack in 17 days in the Left-wing extremism (LWE) affected state, police said, adding that the attacks were part of an attempt to disrupt elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly.Amid tight security, voting at 10 of the 18 seats scheduled for the first phase began at 7 a.m.
These were Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon. It would end at 3 p.m. Polling in the remaining eight seats which began at 8 a.m. would continue till 5 p.m. All 18 constituencies are known Maoist-hubs.Maoists on Sunday detonated an IED, killing a Border Security Force Assistant Sub-Inspector in Kanker district when the troopers were on foot patrol.The Left-wing extremists have asked people to boycott the elections.On November 8, a Central Industrial Security Force head constable and four civilians were killed when the insurgents blew up a mini bus they were returning in after buying vegetables and groceries here.Doordarshan cameraman and three Chhattisgarh Police personnel were killed in a Maoist ambush here on October 30.On October 27, the Maoists fired on a CRPF contingent in Bijapur killing four troopers.