Vikash Sharma

Tension prevailed in several parts of Odisha during the conduct of the crucial second phase polling on Monday. As per reports, a clash erupted between BJD and BJP after alleged booth rigging attempts by BJD workers in Ganjam. The incident occurred at booth no 47 of Beruanbadi village under Turum police limits.

The voting was initially peaceful since morning. However, some BJD workers allegedly entered the booth for rigging. A clash erupted inside the booth when the BJP agents opposed the BJD workers. Irate over this, the BJD workers allegedly attacked the BJP workers. The entire act has been captured on a mobile camera.

Senior journalist Akshay Sahu said, “We are witnessing some violence which is not acceptable. Though large number of CAPF personnel has been deployed, sometimes problems arise in reaching the booths due to time spent in mobilization after getting information.”

LIVE | Odisha Elections 2024 Phase 2 Voting

In another development, senior BJP leader Pradeep Panigrahi was discharged from the hospital today. He was earlier attacked and assaulted during the first phase of polls.

“I want to urge officials to ensure free and fair elections so that CM’s clean image is kept intact and there is no rigging in all booths of Hinjili. The way BJD workers attacked BJP workers and attempted rigging, it is not acceptable,” said Panigarhi urging the CM to issue stern directions against rigging attempts.

As political violence is on the rise in Ganjam, senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty stated that today BJP candidate Pradeep Panigrahi has alleged that such incidents are being done intentionally and accused the police of their involvement.

“Earlier Pradeep Panigrahi was in BJD and he knows about the booth management and other aspects. After joining the BJP, he is now being targeted and was also recently attacked. Ganjam district is now politically sensitive and those in liquor and cashew plantation businesses are active in politics and controlling affairs,” said Mohanty.

Auto-Rickshaw Driver Killed in Bargarh During Voting Period; Police Says Murder Over Personal Enmity

In another incident, an auto driver was killed at Sarsara village in Bargarh district on Monday. The deceased has been identified as Biswanath Mirdha.

As per reports, the auto-rickshaw driver was attacked when he was reportedly carrying some voters to the booth. The exact reason behind the murder is not clear. Senior police officials reached the spot and started an investigation into the matter.

The broad daylight killing sparked tension in the area for quite some time. It is alleged that the killing could be over ongoing political violence. The family members of the deceased and others created ruckus and demanded an immediate halt of voting in the village. Police later escorted some people from the spot in buses.

Bargarh SP PS Meena said, “There was some dispute over liquor consumption and the incident is not related to polls.”

IG Himanshu Lal said, “Prima facie investigation reveals that the incident occurred due to some personal enmity and further investigation is underway. The dispute was between two persons. We are ensuring that there is no law and order situation. Some people have been detained as they were disrupting the voting process.”

Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said, “One additional ADG rank officer has been deployed and the situation is normal. There is tension in the village as a person has died. It is not related to polls rather it was due to some issue between two persons and personal rivalry. Both were under the influence of alcohol. Senior officials are on the spot.“

Also Read | Pre-Poll Violence: 2 BJP Workers ‘Thrashed and Kidnapped’ in Bolangir

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  • SANJAY JENA

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