Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In a tragic incident ahead of the second phase of polling in Odisha, a person was killed and three others sustained critical injuries in an alleged clash between BJD and BJP workers in Ganjam on Wednesday.

Some BJD workers allegedly launched a deadly attack on the supporters of the BJP while they were putting up party banners as part of electioneering at Srikrushnasaranpur village under Khallikote block in the district.

As many as four BJP workers were critically injured in the process. They were immediately rushed to Khallikote Community Health Center. Later they were shifted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur as their condition deteriorated.

However, one of them succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment. The deceased has been identified as Dilip Pahan. While one patient has been referred to Bhubaneswar, two others are currently under treatment in Berhampur.

As per the allegation by the BJP supporters, they were earlier working as BJD workers. However, they joined BJP following the death of Khallikote queen. The BJP supporters further alleged that the supporters of the ruling party used to oppose them during various activities and around 25 bike-borne BJD supporters attacked them with sharp-edged weapons while they were putting up saffron party banners in their area.

Also Read | BJP, BJD workers injured in scuffle in Odisha, hospitalised

Meanwhile, BJP workers reportedly staged a protest by blocking the road in front of Khallikote police station demanding immediate arrest of the accused. Due to the road blockade, movement of vehicles between Khallikote and Bhubaneswar has been affected.

In response, Odisha’s Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bihari Dhal has directed Ganjam district Collector and Election Officer to take immediate measures to stop any kind of violence and bring peace in the region.

“There is zero tolerance towards violence during elections. Ganjam district Collector and Election Officer have been ordered to take immediate measures to stop violence and bring peace in the area,” said Dhal.

BJD Supremo Condemns Poll Violence

Meanwhile, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condemned the poll violence incident in Ganjam in which a BJP worker lost his life and three others were injured.

Also Read | Attack on BJP LS candidate Pradeep Panigrahi: Police arrest independent candidate Shibashankar Das

“Deeply disturbed and saddened at the very unfortunate and tragic incident of violence in Khallikote area. Such incidents of violence have no place in our democracy and civil society. I strongly condemn this incident. My deepest condolence to the family who has lost their loved one and praying for early recovery of those who sustained injuries. I am sure police will take strong and exemplary action against the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” Patnaik wrote on social media account X (earlier known as Twitter).