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Ramakanta Biswas

Political violence hit the voting process of the ongoing urban local body (ULBs) elections in Odisha on Thursday with sporadic incidents of attacks on people being reported from separate places. 

The Vice-Chairman of Khandapada block in Nayagarh district was allegedly attacked over political enmity in front of a booth at Khandapada Women’s College. 

Sisir Kumar Sahu, the Vice Chairman alleged that he was attacked by independent candidate Arati Pradhan’s husband and his associate. 

On the basis of the complaint of Sahu, the police have launched a manhunt to nab the accused. 

In another incident, a youth suffered critical injuries after he was allegedly stabbed following an altercation over casting of votes in Bhadrak district. 

The youth was attacked in front of booth No-16 under ward No-9 of Dhamnagar Notified Area Council (NAC). The critically injured victim was admitted to the district headquarters hospital.

Meanwhile, some locals launched a blockade of the road protesting the attack on the youth. 

In Cuttack too, a man was thrashed by rival group for allegedly distributing cash to voters in Ward No-53. He was later handed over to police.  

Polling of votes is underway for 106 ULBs and 3 Municipal Corporations in the State. As per the latest data of the State Election Commission (SEC), about 21 per cent voter turnout has been recorded in 3 Municipal Corporations of the State till 12 pm today. Similarly, an average voter turnout of 32 per cent was recorded in the other urban local bodies.

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