Left-wing extremism claimed the lives of 19 persons in the first phase of polling. Naxalites triggered blasts and shot dead security personnel in four states in the country.
The scale of Naxal violence was unprecedented and the Maoists almost threw a direct challenge to the might of the government, on the day the first phase of polling took place.
In Jharkhand's Latehar, a landmine blast hit a bus causing the death of five personnel and two passengers. The incident occurred just after voting had begun in the morning.
Polling booths were set afire, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) taken away and CRPF personnel fired at in Narayanpur and Dantewada in Naxal-infested Chhattisgarh. IED blasts were reported from several places.
The policemen exchanged fire with Naxalites and one jawan was killed. Maoist violence was reported from parts of Orissa, Bihar and Maharashtra also. As many as 124 constituencies in 17 states had gone to polls on Thursday. Nearly 60% electorate exercised their franchise.
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