Raipur: BSF Assistant Sub-Inspector Mahinder Singh killed on Sunday in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district when Maoists exploded hidden explosives when the troopers were on foot patrol, authorities said.
The attack came a day ahead of the first phase of Assembly polls in the state and occurred in an area which will see polling for the state Assembly on Monday. It was the fourth Maoist attack in 16 days in Chhattisgarh.
The slain trooper, a resident of Rajasthan, was part of a Border Security Force (BSF) team which ran into the concealed Improvised Explosive Devises (IED) near the Koyali Beda forested area.
"Over six IEDs exploded in one go when the BSF men reached the area. Mahinder Singh suffered critical injuries. He was flown to hospital in Raipur where doctors declared him dead," Kanket Superintendent of Police K.L. Dhruva told IANS.
The official said the BSF team left its base camp at Udanpur on Saturday morning in search of Maoists who have asked people to boycott Monday's election.
In another incident early on Sunday, a Maoist was killed in a gun battle with security forces in Bijapur district's Bedre forest area, said police. The dead Maoist was in combat dress.
"A team of Special Task Force (STF) was on an anti-Maoist operation when the incident took place. A rifle was recovered from the spot," a police officer said.
On November 8 a Central Industrial Security Force Head Constable and four civilians were killed when the Maoists blew up a mini bus in which they were returning to their camp after buying vegetables and groceries in Dantewada district.
A Doordarshan cameraman and three Chhattisgarh police personnel were killed in a Maoist ambush, also in Dantewada, on October 30. On October 27, the Maoists fired on a contingent of Central Reserve Police Force in Bijapur, killing four troopers.
Police said the Maoist attacks were part of an attempt to disrupt elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly. Voting will take place on November 12 and 20 and the results will be declared on December 11.
Over 500 additional companies of security forces, including paramilitary, have been deployed in Chhattisgarh to boost security during elections.