India: Naxalite attacks mar elections

Naxalite guerillas killed 17 and injured several others in the “red corridor” of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa as voters went to the polls in 15 states and two Union Territories in elections for India’s Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament. Five local officials were killed and two others injured in a landmine blast in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh. A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troop was killed and seven others injured in attacks in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. In Jharkhand, nine were killed, including seven Border Security Force (BSF) in a landmine blast. In Gaya district of Bihar, guerillas killed two police and injuring three. (Central Chronicle, Madhya Pradesh, April 16)

Early returns indicate the ruling Congress party-led coalition leads an alliance headed by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but both may need the support of a host of smaller regional parties to win a majority. (Reuters, April 16)

See our last post on India and the Naxalites.

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