Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Though BJD links have been alleged behind attacks on many BJP workers in poll violence during the ongoing simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha, questions are being raised over police inaction.

Attack on BJP's Ganjam district president

A day ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Chandbali Constituency a group of BJD supporters allegedly launched a deadly attack on BJP's Ganjam district president, Subash Sahu and five of his supporters at Totapada in the presence of police. Sahu suffered a fracture in his left hand and his vehicle was ransacked.

Sahu along with his supporters somehow managed to save his life. Subsequently, they lodged a complaint at the nearest police station alleging that Chandbali MLA Byomkesh Ray had instigated his supporters to launch an attack on him fearing defeat. However, Chandbali Police is yet to take any substantial action in this regard even after 24 hours.

"There is no doubt that Chandbali MLA Byomkesh Ray has instigated some of his drunk supporters to launch a deadly attack on us. Somehow, we managed to save our lives," said Sahu.

"We have registered a case in this connection and started an investigation into the incident. As many as five persons have been arrested and further investigation into the incident is underway," said Chandbali SDPO Kartik Chandra Mallick.

Meanwhile, BJP's Odisha unit president Manmohan Samal has condemned the incident.

"We strongly condemn the deadly attack on BJP's Ganjam district president. These kinds of incidents should not be repeated. People are watching everything and they will give a befitting reply in the election," said Samal.

However, no reaction was received from Byomkesh Ray in this regard.

Vehicle ploughs into election rally 

In another incident, some persons sustained injuries and four bikes were damaged when former Sarpanch Dilip Kumar Behera's speeding SUV allegedly ploughed into an election rally being held for BJD's Dharamsala candidate Pranab Balabantaray. Following the incident, some BJD supporters damaged Behera's vehicle. Later they also ransacked Behera's market complex and some other vehicles.

Though Dharamsala Police has launched an investigation into the incident, no action has been taken yet. 

"BJD workers have turned violent and they are indulging in many violent activities. We are in a state of panic and bewildered on how to fight the election. We are also apprehensive about the conduct of a neutral election," said Himanshu Sekhar Sahu, an independent candidate from Dharmasala  Assembly constituency.

However, BJD workers refuted the charges against them.

"We believe that Opposition leaders, who were earlier with BJD, have created such disturbances," said Purnachandra Satpathy, a BJD worker.

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