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regular-article-logo Sunday, 16 June 2024

Murder of autorickshaw driver mars second phase polling in Odisha

The incident took place at Sarasara under the Bargarh Sadar police station under the Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency in western Odisha

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 21.05.24, 12:07 PM
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An autorickshaw driver was killed in Odisha during the second phase polling in the state on Monday.

The incident took place at Sarasara under the Bargarh Sadar police station under the Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency in western Odisha.

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Locals said he was bringing voters to the booth when he was attacked by the rivals with weapons. He was stabbed by some youths of the local area. The deceased has been identified as Biswanth Meher.

However, chief electoral officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal and inspector general (IG-Northern Range) of police Himanshu Lal denied that the murder was linked to election. “Personal rivalry led to the stabbing of the youth. We have arrested the accused,” said Lal.

CEO Dhal said: “The crime is not related to election. Both the accused and the victim belong to the same village. Both the victim and the accused were drunk.”

The incident triggered tension in the area. Locals staged a demonstration demanding action against the accused. Tension also erupted at a polling both in Bhanjanagar in Ganajam district when some people allegedly attempted booth ragging.

At Rourkela, tension prevailed as the BJD candidate Sarada Prasad Nayak went to a polling booth to supervise the polling. As a candidate, he enjoyed the privilege of entering a booth. However, the Opposition members reacted to it and alleged that he was trying to influence the voters. As tension prevailed, police swung into action and took Sarada Nayak out of the polling booth.

One presiding officer in the Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency was taken into custody by police after some irregularities were found at the polling station.

Barring these stray incidents, the election was passed off peacefully on Monday in all five Lok Sabha seats — Aska, Kandhamal, Baragarh, Sundergarh and Balangir. Election to 35 Assembly seats under these Lok Sabha constituencies also passed off peacefully.

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