Keshkal bypoll begins amid tight security

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Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Feb 4 (UNI) Amid tight security, polling began today for assembly by-election in Keshkal constituency in naxal-infested Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made and 27 police companies have been deployed. A helicopter have been pressed into service to maintain aerial surveillance.

Election office sources said 30 per cent polling took place by 1300 hours.

Meanwhile, an encounter between police and naxalites took place at Jugnar in Dhanora area. However, no casualty was reported during the encounter. Bomb and landmine were recovered from the spot.

As many as nine of the 150 polling stations were identified as sensitive. About 1.47 lakh electorate could exercise their franchise in the bypoll.

The main fight is between Congress candidate Buddhasan Markam and BJP nominee Sevak Ram Netam. Three independents are also in the fray.

The by-election was caused by the sudden demise of BJP legislator Mahesh Baghel in a road accident about four months back.

UNI XC-PS 1430

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