Two Central Reserve Police Force jawans were killed and three others injured when Maoists triggered an explosive, when they were on way to a polling station in Jamui parliamentary constituency of Bihar early morning, the police said.
A CRPF and Bihar police team was travelling in two jeeps when the Maoists triggered an improvised explosive device planted under the bridge they were crossing, near Sawa Lakh Baba Mandir at the entrance of Bhimbandh jungle, Deputy Superintendent of Police Khargpur Ranjan Kumar told PTI.
The two CRPF jawans succumbed to their injuries on way to a hospital while the three other injured were taken to the SadarHospital in Munger district, about 170 km from state capital Patna.
The incident took place at around 5:30 am, one and a half hour before the start of polling in Jamui (SC, reserved) constituency.
Lok Janshakti party President Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan is in the fray from the Jamui parliamentary constituency against Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary of the Janata Dal-United and Sudhanshu Shekhar Bhaskar of the Rashtriya Janata Dal. Six parliamentary constituencies of Bihar, including Jamui are going to polls in the first phase of the elections in the state on Thursday.
All six -- Jamui, Aurangabad, Sasaram, Gaya, Nawada and Karakat are located in the Naxal-affected areas in the state. Maoists had earlier given a call for a poll boycott.
Meanwhile, polling began today in six of the 40 constituencies, all in Maoist-hit areas, for the first of the six-phased Lok Sabha polls in Bihar. The constituencies where polling is being held, starting at 7 am, are Sasaram (SC), Karakat, Aurangabad, Gaya (SC), Nawada and Jamui (SC).
Of the 80 candidates, including 10 women, the electoral fate of outgoing Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar, former Kerala governor Nikhil Kumar and actor-turned-politician Chirag Paswan, son of Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan will be decided.
Meira is seeking re-election for the third consecutive term from Sasaram, her home turf, which elected her father and Dalit icon Babu Jagjivan Ram eight times since Independence to 1984.
Chirag Paswan is debuting in Jamui (SC) seat and is pitted against Assembly speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary. While a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party is claiming it would bag a major chunk of the 40 seats in the state, the Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress alliance and the tie-up of the Janata Dal-United and the Communist Party of India are equally determined to corner maximum number of seats.
Of the total electorate, women voters number 49,73,691 surpassing the number of men at 43,55,752. Altogether 9,781 polling stations have been set up.